Preston Memorial Day services thanked those who
gave their lives so others could live in freedom
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 4:51 AM
Members of the Preston American Legion, V.F.W, their auxiliaries, and the general public turned out during a rainy Memorial Day to remember and pay honor to those area veterans who had sacrificed, even their lives, in the defense of freedom.
Crown Hill Cemetery ceremonies were moved into Christ Lutheran Church due to the rain. The calling of the roll was done by David Starks and Phil Durst, members of the Preston American Legion. Poppies were placed in remembrance of those Preston natives who had served by Madison Scheevel, Alleigh Meyer and Marissa Bremseth.
Ron Scheevel welcomed everyone to the services held at Christ Lutheran Church. The colors were then advanced with the National Anthem being led by Jerome and Sharyol O'Connor.
Following an invocation by the Rev. David Jore of Christ Lutheran Church, Fillmore Central Boys State representative Jesse Nelson read the iconic poem "In Flanders Fields" written by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. Those gathered then sang "America, the Beautiful" followed by another Boys State Representative Alex Fishbaugher who recited the "Tribute to Gold Star Mothers."
Jore gave the Memorial Day Address and focused his words on the sacrifices made by all veterans and for the ultimate sacrifice made by Jesus Christ. He told a story about an email he had received with some pictures and captions relating Thanksgiving Day to Memorial Day. The caption about Thanksgiving Day shared the idea that it was a day to give thanks for all we have. The caption under the Memorial Day photo shared the idea that it was a day to remember the people who fought for our ability to give thanks for the things we have.
"That is Memorial Day in a nutshell," shared Jore. "We remember those who have served and those who have fallen."
Jore recalled the Memorial Day experiences he said he was thankful for in his youth in McIntosh, Minn. The day would be filled with music, parades and services. "It was a very special day," he said, adding that he often played the trombone for the music during the day.
"Today is a day where we give all to who it is owed them and to give honor for who all honor is owed," Jore stated. He again expressed his thankfulness for the opportunity and the time taken to remember all the veterans.
He told the story of four Army chaplains George L. Fox, Alexander D. Goode, Clark V. Poling and John P. Washington who embodied the kind of service and sacrifice remembered during Memorial Day. The chaplains were in the North Atlantic Ocean on the USAT Dorchester during World War II when the ship was hit by a German torpedo and began to quickly sink. Even while their fate drew near, the chaplains continued to guide others to the lifeboats, pray for the dying and gave up their own life jackets to others. The four men of all different religious backgrounds joined arms and sang hymns until the ship went down.
Jore quoted from the Holy Bible, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
In continuing to explain the depth of love found in this sacrifice, he shared his belief that Jesus Christ did the same, but for every person on earth. "He offers salvation to all who receive him. He died for us," he said.
Jore also said everyone is called to be a Christian soldier no matter the denomination. "We have a long way to go, but giving service is the way to start."
He concluded by thanking the veterans for their service and sharing another quote, stating, "Military heroes gave up their tomorrows so I could have mine."
Due to the rain, the West Bridge and Crown Hill Cemetery ceremonies were held at the church. Norman Schultz presented the wreath honoring all fallen Coast Guard veterans. The calling of the roll was done by Phil Durst and David Starks, who named 458 Preston individuals who had served and were deceased.
Scheevel also mentioned that 18 seniors from Fillmore Central had received $500 scholarships through full or partial donations by the families of veterans. Since 1996, the Legion has given 198 scholarships and $98,600.