Dozens of Highland residents began their Memorial Day honoring those who gave their lives in defense of the United States, its citizens and their liberties by attending American Legion Post 421’s morning ceremony at Highland’s Veterans Memorial.
The Legion invited residents to join in remembering and honoring the nation’s servicemen and women who gave their lives in America’s wars after last year’s ceremony was held privately due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Past Post Commander Frank Page opened the ceremony stating that he was glad to see that there are people who know Memorial Day is more than just a three-day weekend and the unofficial start of the summer, referring to the crowd of over 50 people in attendance.
Post Commander Jim Bardaro then spoke, asking of the audience, “Can we as citizens do more to insist that our country is fully worthy of those who sacrificed?”
Mayor Penny Lilburn was the guest speaker with her daughter Courtney Cochrane, a retired Army captain, in attendance.
“This is the fresh air of freedom,” Lilburn said, at what was one of the city’s first public gatherings in over a year.
“We may not be able to fully understand the pain and suffering of those who gave their lives and their families but we can make sure we never forget their sacrifices,” she stated.
The Legion then read aloud the names of Highland residents who died serving in the armed forces with a bell being rung for each name.
Highland’s Daniel D. Yarnell Memorial serves as the memorial for the city’s Vietnam War veterans and lists the names of 11 Highlanders who were killed during the war. It is named for Yarnell who was believed to be the first Highlander killed in Vietnam.
The ceremony concluded the trumpeting of “Taps” and volley salute.