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Front Page » June 3, 2014 » Emery County News » Memorial Day observances
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Memorial Day observances

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Veterans provide 21 gun salutes at local cemeteries

Memorial Day services were observed throughout Emery County on May 26 by American Legion groups from Ferron, Cleveland/Huntington Green River and the Orangeville womens auxiliary hosted a bake sale.

Services were also held at Elmo, Cleveland, Lawrence and Huntington. American Legion Post 73 conducted the services at these cemeteries.

Commander Ray Quinn thanked local veterans and their families for their service. Jennie Olson from the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary told about the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Buddy Poppy Program. Olson explained proceeds from poppy sales provide financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans' rehabilitation and service programs and partially supports the VFW National Home for orphans and widows of our nation's veterans. She read the poem in Flanders Field by John McCrae. "In Flanders Fields the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row, that mark our place; and in the sky, the larks, still bravely singing, fly, scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead. Short days ago, we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved and were loved and now we lie, in Flanders Fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe to you, from failing hands, we throw, the torch, be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us, who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow, in Flanders Fields."

Quinn introduced Blake Jones, who recited from memory "Ragged Old Flag." Quinn remarked, "When Blake recites Ragged Old Flag there is rarely a dry eye." Jones said "I walked through a county courthouse square on a park bench, an old man was sittin' there. I said, "your old court house is kinda run down, He said, "naw, it'll do for our little town". I said, "your old flag pole is leaned a little bit, and that's a ragged old flag you got hangin' on it". He said, "have a seat", and I sat down, "is this the first time you've been to our little town" I said, "I think it is".

He said "I don't like to brag, but we're kinda proud of that Ragged Old Flag. "You see, we got a little hole in that flag there, when Washington took it across the Delaware and It got powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat watching it, writing "Oh, Say Can You See." It got a rip in New Orleans, with Packingham & Jackson tugging at its seams and it almost fell at the Alamo beside the Texas flag, but she waved on though. She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville, and she got cut again at Shiloh Hill. There was Robert E. Lee and Beauregard and Bragg, and the south wind blew hard on that Ragged Old Flag. "On Flanders Field in World War I, she got a big hole from a Bertha Gun, she turned blood red in World War II. She hung limp, and low, a time or two. She was in Korea, Vietnam, she went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam. She waved from our ships upon the briny foam and now they've about quit wavin' back here at home in her own good land here she's been abused, she's been burned, dishonored, denied an' refused, and the government for which she stands has been scandalized throughout the land and she's getting thread bare, and she's wearin' thin, but she's in good shape, for the shape she's in. Cause she's been through the fire before and I believe she can take a whole lot more. "So we raise her up every morning and we bring her down slow every night, we don't let her touch the ground, and we fold her up right.

On second thought I do like to brag, cause I'm mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag." After Jones was finished there was a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps. The microphones and the speakers for the services was provided by Fausett Mortuary and Gary Kofford.

On the southern end of the county the services were provided by American Legion Post 42. They started in Ferron and then traveled to Molen, Clawson and Castle Dale cemeteries. Sam Singleton spoke about the sacrifices made by many dedicated servicemen and women. Sarah Swasey sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic. The American Legion veterans provided a 21 gun salute at each of the cemeteries.

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June 3, 2014
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