memorial day Date: Sunday, May 27, 2001 12:26 AM


Memorial Day Remembered


When I was a Boy Scout in Fort Plain, NY, we always participated in the patriotic events of the town.

On Memorial Day, we gathered at the Memorial to World War I veterans for a solemn ceremony led by the American Legion. Kate Sullivan, wife of the postmaster, always recited the poem "In Flanders fields the poppies grow among the markers row on row." Florence Stahler. director of the Reformed Church choir would sing "America" or "America the Beautiful".

A bugler would play "Taps". there'd be a patriotic speech by the mayor or some other politician and the honor guard rifle team would fire off some blanks which echoed nicely among the tombstones of the cemetery.

It was quite an affair, decently attended. Everyone left the grounds feeling quite good about remembering the good soldiers and sailors who gave their lives for their country and us.

I don't know about your towns but I don't sense any big swell of excitement here, except for the grand opening at one of the Indian-owned Casinos where big bucks, big entertainment and big amounts of food will lure many.

Anyhow, take a few minutes to reflect on your freedom and the peace you enjoy. I knew some of those who died for you.

They were just regular ordinary guys who didn't expect to sacrifice their lives and would not have thought of themselves as heroes, just guys who had hopes for the good days when the war ended.

That's my word for this day.

"Have a nice weekend."


John W. Ridder   5/27/01


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