An audience of close to 50 community members assembled on Monday, May 29 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday and to offer respects to the men and women of this country who have died service to their country.
Oakdale VFW Post 2922 hosted the annual Memorial Day service at the Oakdale Citizens Cemetery on Monday at 11 a.m. The program was led by Post Commander Dan Vigil.
During the ceremony a number of speakers offered a bit of history as well as their personal connection to the observance of the annual holiday.
Local historian and retired US Navy Chief Petty Officer Glenn Burghardt offered attendees historical information on how the holiday has been embraced by past generations.
“From the days of Concord and Lexington to those of Iraq, over thirty nine million Americans have gone to war,” Burghardt said, “and over 1,150,000 have not come home alive.”
He also gave special note to the Oakdale Historical Society for the placement of over 600 flags on the gravesites of veterans for the past 17 years.
It was the closing of his speech however, which seemed to resonate strongest with the crowd, made evident by applause at his conclusion.
“I want to go through just a short point that everybody should remember,” he said. “It’s our life.
“It is the veteran and not the preacher that has given us freedom of religion,” he said. “It is the veteran and not the reporter that has given us freedom of the press. It is the veteran and not the poet that has given us freedom of speech. It is the veteran and not the campus coordinator that has given us right to assemble. It is the veteran and not the lawyer that has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the veteran and not the politician that has given us the right to vote.”
The ceremony was concluded by prayer and the playing of Taps by Ron Quintanal.