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Saluting the fallen
by Gary Kent
Jun 03, 2010 | 1228 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Veterans fire a rifle salute during Monday’s Memorial Day event at Veterans Memorial Park. Close to 100 people were there for the ceremonies honoring the nation’s war dead.
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Since 1868 people have come together in towns and villages throughout the United States to honor those who have done their duty and to place flags on their graves, Mayor Santiago “Jimbo” Martinez Jr. told a crowd Monday morning at Veterans Memorial Park.

The event was the annual Memorial Day commemoration honoring those who have died in the wars fought by this country ever since the Civil War.

Calling liberty “the achievement of courage,” Martinez reminded almost 100 people at the event that “their sacrifice was great but not in vain.”

The mayor quoted the widow of a Marine who explained her husband’s death by saying, “There’s good and evil in the world and that’s what’s going on. He was good.”

Earlier in the event, state Rep. Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles explained that the Memorial Day tradition is anchored in the Civil War.

When a mother sends her son off to war, Toureilles said, the emotions she feels are the same emotions felt by a mother who sent a son off to war 45 years earlier.

Bernard Henke, adjutant and quartermaster of the Veterans of Foreign Wars District 6, was master of ceremonies for Monday’s event.

He was joined by VFW Post 9170 Chaplain Daniel Longoria and commanders of local veterans organization posts.

Those included Commander Becky Ochoa of American Legion Post 274, Commander Francisco Gonzales of VFW Post 9170 and President Joe Richard Rodriguez of Chapter 929 of the Vietnam Veterans of America.

Later, Glenda Tyra, president of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, Marchetta White, representing the VVA chapter, and Sandra Martin, American Legion Ladies Auxiliary president, joined together to lay wreaths at the monuments naming Bee County’s war dead.

Henke then had the song “Arlington” by Trace Adkins played for the crowd before the Bee County Veterans Honor Guard fired a 21-gun salute and Taps was played.

One of the remarks that stayed in the memories of those attending came at the end of Martinez’s brief speech as he quoted another writer who had spoken of the nation’s veterans.

“One thing is certain,” Martinez said. “Thank God we don’t have to fight anyone like ourselves.”

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