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In Memory: Gering American Legion Post 36 provided Memorial Day ceremonies at West Lawn Cemetery
May 29, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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Photo by Philip Eckerberg/for the Citizen - Rifle squad members Paul Votruba, Dennis Wademan, Martin Kinney, Randy Rutter

A small crowd gathered on a humid Monday morning at Gering’s West Lawn Cemetery to honor the military men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

Chris Lane, American Legion Commander for Scotts Bluff County, told the story of 8-year-old Miles Eckhardt, who found a $20 bill in an Ohio restaurant parking lot. He noticed a man in uniform in the restaurant. So he passed the bill along to Lt. Col. Frank Daily, with a note of thanks from the “gold star kid” who had lost his father in Iraq.

“We continue to lose American heroes every day in Afghanistan and other military missions around the world,” Lane said. “The loss to their families, fellow soldiers and the nation is permanent. Some of them were only teenagers. Most of them killed in action were under the age of 25. And in the eyes of their loved ones, they will be forever young.”

It’s because of those military men and women that Memorial Day is so important. “We don’t just honor those with the highest medals or even those who participated in the most hellacious fire fights,” Lane said. “We honor the more than one million men and women who have lost their lives defending America in conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the global war on terror.”

He said the American Legion is proud and all the brothers and sisters in arms who loved their country enough to die for it. And they’re proud of families who sacrificed so much after the shooting and the bombing stopped.

“The children of our fallen warriors will still be missing a parent,” Lane said. “A spouse will be without their life partner. And parents will continue to grieve their heroic sons and daughters that have died far too early. That’s why we all need to be there for them. As Americans, we need to remember that freedom isn’t free. It’s only possible because our fallen heroes have paid the highest price,” he said.

Photo by Philip Eckerberg/for the Citizen - Chris Lane providing words

Photo by Philip Eckerberg/for the Citizen - Robert Lore playing taps
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