Fountain American Legion Adjutant Nevin Vrieze plays “Taps” off in the distance. BRETTA GRABAU/REPUBLICAN-LEADER
Fountain American Legion Adjutant Nevin Vrieze plays “Taps” off in the distance. BRETTA GRABAU/REPUBLICAN-LEADER
"Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends," John 15:13 (KJV).

Memorial Day may only come once a year, but every day someone somewhere in the world is donning an American uniform, sacrificing his or her time, sweat, blood, energy and, sometimes, a life for the sake of freedom and liberty.

Memorial Day is a day to remember their sacrifice, but it is not nearly enough.

"Men and women in the past and future have sacrificed to give us our freedoms. Sometimes we forget what they have to go through," the Rev. LeRoy Parks solemnly conveyed on May 26 during the Preston Memorial Day program in Christ Lutheran Church. "It is not enough to take one day out of the year to have a big ceremony. They serve all year."

True enough, American freedom has been bought with a fantastic price. Remember Bunker Hill and Valley Forge. Remember the burning of the White House. Remember brother pitted against brother in the Civil War. Remember mustard gas pouring through the trenches of France. Remember Pearl Harbor. Remember the World Trade Center and Flight 93.

Fountain and Preston Legion members, as well as several residents, visited cemeteries throughout the area to remember such sacrifice and to honor those who gave of themselves to buy our freedoms.

The Fountain American Legion traveled to several cemeteries to pray over their departed comrades and saluted them with Taps and the 21-gun salute.

The Preston American Legion and VFW honored their military men and women at three separate services at Christ Lutheran Church, the West Bridge and Crown Hill Cemetery.

The Fillmore Central seventh and eighth grade band provided patriotic music in "The Star Spangled Banner," "America, The Beautiful" and "God Bless America."

During the service, Parks gave a brief message of the importance of remembering the fallen and showing support and appreciation to those still living.

From there, the congregation dismissed to the West Bridge to hold a ceremony honoring navy personnel and those who died at sea. A navy wreath floated on the water's surface while "Taps" rang out in the background.

At Crown Hill Cemetery, Phil Durst and David Starks called out the roll of the honored dead from the Preston area who had served in the military.

American flags waved in the breeze held at attention by the ladies of the Preston Legion Auxiliary as two others flew at half-mast over the cemetery. Gunfire pierced the air from the 21-gun salute, honoring the country's heroes.

"Taps" again floated over the breeze, bringing a hallowed moment for those attending. Recall the words of the reverent song. "Day is done, gone the sun, From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky. All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

"Thanks and praise for our days 'Neath the sun, 'neath the stars, 'neath the sky As we go, this we know, God is nigh."