What does Memorial Day mean?
By Alanna Tomjack
For the DC Herald
(Photos by Alanna Tomjack)
To most people it seems to be an extra day off of work or a day at the lake. However, there is a greater meaning that seems to be forgotten more and more these days. As Americans it is our duty to teach our children about patriotism and honor. We have been blessed with so many freedoms in this country and it is easy to take them for granted. Men and women over the years have sacrificed their time and talents for you and me. A great honor should be showed to those whom have sacrificed their lives so that you can live in a free nation. Few were in attendance at the Killdeer American Legion Memorial Day Service. Cheryl Boyce, American Legion Auxiliary president, commented that this year had one of the smallest attendances that she has seen. The American Legion hosts a potluck at the Legion Hall in the evening every year.
It was decided a few years ago to have an evening service, so that the people traveling would be able to attend the service. The Memorial Day Service should be a day when the community shows its gratitude and honor for those whom have fought. We live in a community that is part of ‘the land of the free, because of the brave.’ A question comes to mind while sitting in the small crowd, where is everyone?
I remember Memorial Days Services from 20 years ago. There was citywide barbeques and big parades with the young and the old. There was red, white and blue everywhere a person looked. Nowadays everyone is so busy enjoying their freedoms to stop and recognize the people who sacrificed for them.
This year’s guest speaker was Leslie Ross, Dunn County Veterans Service Officer. She shared some amazing stories of men who risked and gave their lives to save other soldiers.
Ross spoke of true heroes. Ask a youth of today to name a hero and I bet that you won’t get Emil Orville Bloch from Streeter, N.D. or Woodrow Wilson Keeble of Wahpeton, N.D. Bloch fought in WWII and Keeble fought in the Korean War. They both received the Medal of Honor for selfless acts of bravery. Ross directed me to a couple websites where North Dakota heroes are listed: homeoftheheroes.com and nd.gov/veterans/heroes.
These men could be a relative of a neighbor, a classmate or coworker. An award was given to Edward Darwin for 60 continuous years in the American Legion. Darwin served in the Army.
American Legion Auxiliary members lit candles of the four principles of the organization: Justice, Freedom, Democracy and Loyalty. Even the American Legion Auxiliary was short on members in attendance that Kaitlynne Tomjack volunteered to light a candle.
The Killdeer Community Band performance was outstanding. Everyone was in awe as Taps was played after the moment of silence for the empty chair.