It was a small – and somewhat impromptu – gathering of residents on Monday morning, attending a Memorial Day service staged at the Oakdale Citizens Cemetery off J Street.
Originally deciding not to have a service this year, due to some members battling illness and other difficulties, the local VFW Post 2922 did, in fact, bring a service to a small turnout of residents to mark Memorial Day and all that it stands for.
Incoming Post Commander Dan Vigil was on hand and said it just didn’t seem right not to pay respects, so a handful of Post members were able to attend and offer a ceremony, which began about 11 a.m.
Small American flags had been placed on the graves of all service members buried at the Citizens Cemetery earlier in the holiday weekend and were whipping in the brisk breeze at late morning.
“We want to recognize our fallen heroes,” Vigil told those assembled near the flagpole in the center of the cemetery, where a large wreath was displayed. “May this day be special for their families, may they (lost loved ones) always be remembered in their hearts.”
Local resident Teresa Kinney, who represents Congressman Jeff Denham, said she wasn’t there in her official capacity but also took a few moments to address the crowd.
“Thank you to those that have given all for our freedom,” she said. “We need to take this into account daily, not just today.”
Vigil also opened it up to the crowd, if they had any comments to make and one woman said she was there with other family members in honor of their father, a World War II vet who passed away a month ago and always enjoyed attending the Memorial Day services.
VFW Post member Paul Lewis directed their attention to the flags placed on the veterans’ graves and also asked the crowd to remember Nov. 11 as well, when there will be a special Veterans’ Day program at Fish Park, off Pontiac Street.
Vigil thanked everyone for attending and the crowd disbursed, some taking photos of the wreath, others moving on to visit specific gravesites.