County Wide Memorial Service held at Oskaloosa Cemetery Sunday afternoon
Since 1973, according to World War II Veteran Harley Bonham, Clay Countians have gathered in Oskaloosa Cemetery to pay tribute to those who've given the ultimate sacrifice in the service to their country at a County Wide Memorial Day Service on the Sunday prior to Memorial Day. This past Sunday afternoon was no exception as the tradition continues.
Chief Master Sergeant Paul Lybarger was the featured speaker at Sunday afternoon's Memorial Service.
He joined the Air Force in 1978 and served for five years. He was out of the military for seven years before serving in the Army another four years.
"I went back to the Air Force and I've been with them ever since serving with the National Guard in Indiana," he began.
He told his audience that those attending Sunday afternoon's service know what Memorial Day is all about and called attention to the Billy Ray Cyrus song, "All Gave Some, Some Gave All".
"Some gave all is the reason we're here," he stated.
He noted Memorial Day sales, the Indy 500 and cookouts make it easy for some people to forget what it's all about.
"It's ironic that those who died so we can have the type of lifestyle we have have been forgotten," he continued. "I wish we had more folks who understand and appreciate the folks who gave their lives."
He reminded those gathered Sunday afternoon at the humble ceremony to remember our fallen heroes.
"We come not to mourn them, but to celebrate, to honor them for what they've done for us," he added.
He stated our national cemetery in Arlington is able to have recognitions in a big way and stated that cemetery is a "wonderful thing".
He also noted there are lots of movie stars and celebrities who've done wonderful things and had movies and books written about them.
"But I like to think about the Average Joe--the average veterans that are out in these cemeteries across the nation--that didn't have their story told," he added. "Our heroes are not any less important; they just haven't had their stories told. I like to think of them as every bit as important as the big names."
He spoke of the military as a family who relies on team work.
"Everybody's job relies on everybody elses (job)," he related. "And our country relies on all of us to do our job."
He called the average service men the backbone of the service who get the mission accomplished and take care of business.
"I like to think of us as being a tube on a gear and all of those gears working together in the finest military in the world," he stated. "The price sometimes is the lives of those serving."
CMSgt. Lybarger also noted there are 125,000 service men and women laid to rest all over the world and many more who were never found and never had a proper burial.
He then quoted Ronald Reagan, who said: "We owe our freedom of choice and action to those men and women in uniform who've served this nation and it's interests in times of need. In particular we're forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free."
He told his audience it was up to them to spread the world about what Memorial Day is all about and to get the younger generation involved in these traditions.
Roger Bonham provided the invocation. Rocky Allen said the benediction.
The National Anthem was performed by Faith Boerngen. She also sang "God Bless America" and "God Bless the USA".
Doug Leak served as Master of Ceremonies for the County Wide Memorial Service.
Members of the Vinsans Trace Chapter of the DAR, Anita Harris and Berenice Mary Brown placed a floral tribute at the memorial listing the names of veterans who are buried in Oskaloosa Cemetery. Members of American Legion Posts #14 and #114 and VFW Post #3999 performed a 21-Gun Salute.
Darren Bailey concluded the ceremony with "Taps".