Wednesday, May 29, 2013

TOP STORY >> Vets honored at ceremony

Leader staff writer

Cabot’s American Legion Post 71 held a day of remembrance Monday at the Veterans Park Community Center for those who died in service to the nation.

The Legion also remembered the prisoners of war and those missing in action. The post’s honor guard later placed a wreath at the Cabot Veterans Memorial.

“Take a look at the wall out there. See the names of veterans that passed, veterans that wanted their names honored. They go down in posterity so people like us could see the importance of why we are gathered here today,” post commander Ron Bissett said.

He said they gave us “the right to do. The right to compete and the right to be able to walk down the streets. To be able to use a church they may not belong to but have a right to go into that church.”

Retired Lt. Col Steve Gray, an aide to Sen. John Boozman, said, “In an age where society seems to bury its memories and all of material pleasures its liberty bestows, we find both conflict and harmony with the world where information overload from computer technology overwhelms us. Reflection only occurs anymore when days like this bring us together.”

Gray said that, as he was preparing to speak during the Memorial Day ceremony, he found himself searching his mind and searching the Internet, reaching for history, emotion and images.

He spoke of seeing photos of families remembering loved ones by laying flowers on the graves who died in the battles of the Civil War.

Gray recalled looking at pictures of tombs and cemeteries where soldiers from the First World War and the Second World War were buried. He noted the sacrifices they made for America.

“For all that technology brings us, it cannot hurt, it cannot love, it cannot cherish and it cannot honor,” he said.

“God, given a choice between those two worlds, I choose this one,” Gray continued.

Bissett asked why people attending the ceremony should celebrate.

“Because we are meeting here as a free people,” he said.

Bissett thanked the servicemen who served in the military and to the families and wives who supported them with prayers and packages from home.