|American Legion post #73 members participate in the Memorial Day observations at four cemeteries including Elmo, Cleveland, Lawrence and Huntington. Max Larsen, Hal Nielson, James Jensen, Fon Leamaster and Grant Wilson present the United States flag and the Utah State flag.|
The day set aside to observe Veterans and their sacrifice to keep America free was celebrated in Emery County. The American Legion Post #73 held ceremonies beginning in Elmo, Cleveland, Lawrence and closing out in Huntington.
Town's people gathered at each of the cemeteries as well as local scouts were involved with the raising of the flag.
|Blake Jones recites the 'Ragged Old Flag,' as Commander Ray Quinn displays the flag.|
Commander Ray Quinn welcomed visitors to each of the cemeteries and the ceremony was held by the Veteran's monument the American Legion installed at the cemeteries two years ago. "This is a sacred day to honor those men and women who have served their country and gone onto an eternal rest," said Quinn. He reminded everyone of the importance of Memorial Day as a time to show loyalty to flag and country. He emphasized the importance of patriotism and our commitment to Veterans.
Carolyn Randall in Elmo and Cleveland and Jennie Olson in Lawrence and Huntington told the story of how Taps came to be played at military funerals.
Blake Jones recited the "Ragged Old Flag," with the accompaniment of guitarist Eldon Holmes. "I walked through a county courthouse square. On a park bench an old man was sitting there. I said, 'Your old courthouse is kinda run down.' He said, It'll do for our little town. I said, 'Your flag pole is leaning a little bit." And that's a ragged old flag hanging 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 don't like to brag but we're kind of 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 powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat up watching it, writing, 'O' Say Can You See." It got a little rip in New Orleans with Packingham and Jackson pulling at its seams. And it almost fell at the Alamo beside the Texas flag, but she waved on though. It got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville and it got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
'There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard and Bragg. 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 by the time it was through. She was in Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Iraq. 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 waving her at home.
'In her own good land she's been abused, she's burned, dishonored, denied, refused and now the Government for which she stands is scandalized throughout our land. She's getting threadbare and she's wearing 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 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 might proud of that ragged old flag," recited Jones.
Jones told the "Ragged Old Flag" at each of the four cemeteries the American Legion #73 visited.
As part of the ceremony the American Legion shot three vollies and the boy scouts raised the flag.
The monuments at each cemetery read: "The bugle has sounded Taps for the heroes of land, air and sea. They fought the fight with all their might to keep America free.
"So sleep in peace, knowing your fight was not in vain. For every time evil raises its ugly head, America will fight again. Dedicated to our Veterans of all wars, past and present, that fought for our freedom and the many that died for our freedom."