CAMANCHE — Members of the Camanche community filled the Camanche High School gymnasium Monday morning to honor veterans who have sacrificed themselves for their country.
“It’s because of their resolve that were are able to enjoy the lives we live today,” Glenn Williams, commander of the Camanche Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9664, said during Monday’s ceremony. The service was set to be held at Rose Hill Cemetary, but was moved inside due to the weather.
“When our nation called, they did not hesitate to answer,” he continued.
Williams and other speakers during the ceremony thanked these courageous men for giving their lives for the cause of freedom.
Featured speaker, Ensign Benjamin J. Wolf, said that both young and old countrymen have gathered to honor these sacrifices. A graduate of Camanche High School, Wolf graduated from the United States Naval Academy on Friday with a major in oceanography. He will serve as the anti-submarine warfare officer aboard the DDG 71 USS Ross.
Wolf spoke about his training and asking his instructors what motivates them in battle. He told the crowd that what pushes these soldiers forward is not wanting to let those on their left and right down.
“They serve to protect and defend. And they die serving,” Wolf said. He added that they die so the soldiers on each side of them can go home.
Wolf continued that these veterans’ legacy is one of love for God, family and country. He said that they laid down their lives so everyone in that room could live. However, he added that while today everyone mourns their loss, tomorrow people must live their lives.
“I urge you to live in a way that honors their sacrifice,” Wolf said.
Veterans Sam McKenrick and Reggie Reppert also gave tributes to those who have fallen and the country. Reppert recited “A Soldier Died Today” by A. Lawrence Vaincourt and McKenrick recited Johnny Cash’s “This Ragged Old Flag.” Camanche Middle School Student Carli Reynolds recited the Gettysburg Address.
Members of the VFW Post 9664 and American Legion Post 734 fired a 21-gun salute. Typically, flags are flown throughout the weekend at Rose Hill Cemetery to honor the veterans. Master of Ceremonies Chuck Duax said they were unable to fly the flags this weekend due to weather, but they hope to fly them this upcoming weekend.
Camanche Mayor Ken Fahlbeck thanked everyone for paying tribute to those fallen and honoring those missing in action and prisoners of war, as well as those currently serving.