CAMANCHE — American flags danced in the breeze as people filled Rose Hill Cemetery on Monday morning for the annual Camanche Memorial Day ceremony.
The Camanche Veterans of Foreign Wars Tallman Lewis Post 9664, the Camanche American Legion Post 734 and the Memorial Day Steering Committee honored the 18 veterans lost during the past year as well as those who have given and lost their lives throughout the years. Both Camanche Mayor Ken Fahlbeck and guest speaker Eric Rant, a battalion commander of the Iowa Army National Guard’s 224th Engineer Battalion in Fairfield, thanked the community for coming out to the ceremony.
“It does me great pleasure from the city of Camanche to see a group like this out here representing our fallen. I thank each and every one of you. I welcome each and every one of you to enjoy this today in honor of all the vets,” Fahlbeck said.
Rant spoke about being a soldier and what makes a soldier. He told the crowd that in small towns, “the soil is fertile for producing great Americans.”
“In places like Camanche, we’re taught timeless principles and values that make us distinctly American and are uniquely qualified to be the first one to answer our nation’s call. Values like loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage,” Rant said. These are not just Army values, these are American values and especially small-town values.”
Rant has known soldiers who have lost their lives doing their duty. There also have been many soldiers who have made that same sacrifice that he has never known, like his grandfather, killed in action May 22, 1951. He asked the crowd for a moment of silence honoring the more than 1.3 million Americans who gave their lives during all conflicts to remember their “selfless sacrifice” and their loved ones.