A year after COVID cancelled all Memorial Day Celebrations, the Liberty American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and community members returned with Memorial Day ceremonies at cemeteries in College Corner and Liberty.

“In cemeteries across America and around the world today, people will pause to spread flowers on graves of those lost in war,” Air Force Veteran T/Sgt. Robert E. Napier said. “But today should not be about the sorrow we feel in their loss, and not about mourning; what it should be about was best expressed by General George S. Patton back in 1944 at a military cemetery in France. Looking out across a field filled with rows of crosses marking the graves of men who, just days before, had been part of his Army, Patton said, “we should thank God that such men lived.”

Following a 21-gun salute to honor deceased veterans and the playing of “Taps,” Napier said “They gave up their todays for our tomorrows, and now we must carry their message of dedication and determination to the generation in uniform today, and to the generations who will serve tomorrow because there is no greater way to honor the memory of those who have secured it.”

Napier mentioned with pride a three-generation family who played roles in this year’s Memorial Day celebration. Both John Powers and his wife, Connie, are Air Force veterans. Their son, Sam, is a Navy veteran. John and Sam were members of the rifle squad which presented the 21-gun salute. And Sam’s son, Ethan, played “Taps,” at the appropriate time during the service.

“It’s nice to see a whole family of veterans dedicated to honoring those who have gone before,” Napier said.