On May 26, I, like probably thousands of American Legionnaires around the nation, rose early donned my Legion uniform and spent my morning performing honors to deceased veterans. Myself, nine other Legionnaires, and Sam Singleton's grandson performed our duties at the Ferron, Molen, and Castle Dale cemeteries.
At Ferron our efforts were greeted by 30-40 people who took time out of their three day weekend to thank those who have served and now rest. Likewise, at the little Molen cemetery, 40-50 people paid their respects to our honored dead; I'd like to say the same held true at the Castle Dale cemetery, it didn't.
At Castle Dale we fulfilled our duties to our resting comrades under the appreciative eyes of but one older gentleman. On the ride home I "cried in my beer" to my wife on how disheartening it was that no one had bothered to show up at Castle Dale.
Jo, not being one to allow me any slack took me to task reminding me that we didn't perform these duties for the living but for those who have served and now are at rest. Although I didn't say it, I thought "Thanks hon, I needed that".
She was right, honoring those who have served is the point of the exercise; still it saddens me to think that in our county seat it seemed that most people were more interested in honoring the barbeque than honoring those who have served. What is even sadder is that, as I look at the photos of the day, these honors are rendered by 10 . . . old . . . men; the same 10 old men who perform honors at each event, each veteran funeral, year after year and I have to wonder when the last of us are gone who is going to render our honors? It's sad to think so many have forgotten what this is holiday is really all about.