Friends, family, comrades and others joined veterans to honor those who sacrificed their lives in days gone by, as well as those who continue to serve, in a ceremony held Monday at Resthaven Memorial Park.

The American Legion’s Gill-Mattox Post No. 16 and Resthaven Funeral Home and Memorial Park hosted the ceremony, which included a presentation of colors, a speech by Soldier of the Year Spc. Jonathan Flatt and comments by Major Secretary to the General Staff Lora Neal.

In the opening remarks, Carol Swift, assistant location manager, reminded guests for whom they were gathered and why.


Friends, family, comrades and others joined veterans to honor those who sacrificed their lives in days gone by, as well as those who continue to serve, in a ceremony held Monday at Resthaven Memorial Park.
The American Legion’s Gill-Mattox Post No. 16 and Resthaven Funeral Home and Memorial Park hosted the ceremony, which included a presentation of colors, a speech by Soldier of the Year Spc. Jonathan Flatt and comments by Major Secretary to the General Staff Lora Neal.
In the opening remarks, Carol Swift, assistant location manager, reminded guests for whom they were gathered and why.
“If these people hadn’t served their country,” Swift said. “We might not be here today.”
Flatt also shared his own realization of all that Memorial Day stands for with those in attendance.
“Memorial Day was just a long weekend for going to the river,” he said. “Now, it means so much more.”
Flatt said that he now realizes the day is to honor, recognize, remember and respect all those who “knowingly and willingly put ourselves in harm’s way to protect others.”
“It also should remind us of the sacrifice of the families,” Flatt said.
He added that he didn’t realize before how much family back home worry about their loved ones until he was away. Then, he would hear about those back home who were very concerned and see all they did to support those who serve.
Neal also commented about those who do and do not recognize the importance of the national holiday.
“Today’s soldiers are mindful of those who went before them,” Neal said. “But unfortunately, for some the meaning of this day is lost.”
Swift challenged those present not to let future generations lose the day’s meaning.
“I beg of you, teach your children and your grandchildren what it means to sacrifice for your country,” Swift said. “If we don’t, who will?”
In addition to prayers led by Rev. Bill Matthews of Liberty Baptist Church and group participation in the recital of the national anthem and pledge of allegiance were the traditional laying of the wreath, a moment of silence, a 21-gun salute and the bugling of Taps.
Refreshments were contributed by the Ladies Auxiliary Post No. 16, Louise Johnston, Joe Freeman and Judy Kennett.
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Johnna Ray may be reached at 214-3934.