Youth big part of VFW’s Memorial Day
Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Scott Seddon of Veteran of Foreign Wars Sgt. Jayton D. Patterson Post 4411 said that in all of his years attending Memorial Day ceremonies, he’d never looked into the crowd and seen so many children.
Seddon, who will take over for Commander Kevin Meyers in about two weeks, said that’s a great thing.
“It is good to see you all here, taking part in this tradition,” Seddon said, thanking the parents for bringing their children. “It is good that we are passing this torch on so that the future generation continues to make sure this is a part of everyone’s lives.”
Meyers added that teaching is a big part of what the Post does.
“We want to pass on to you what being a veteran is all about, but you will be the ones who will carry it forward,” he said.
The children were made a part of the program, as Cheyenne Fridley and Kaden Scott performed the Remembrance Reading. At the end of the service, Franklin’s Boy Scout Troop 17 also retired a pair of worn, but honored U.S. flags in a special ceremony outdoors.
Three Gold Star mothers were present, including Sharon Patterson, the mother of the man whose name graces the Post. Seddon said he would continue to work hard on the backs of the commanders who came before him so that Patterson would remain proud of the dedication.
Meanwhile, Meyers had flowers for all three mothers present, including Martha Cabe, who lost Jonathan Dozier, and Ailene Silvia, who lost Billy Silvia.
“I cannot, nor do I think anybody, can imagine the depth of sorrows you feel for having lost a child before his time, let alone a healthy child in the prime of his life,” he said.
After a moment of silence, Meyers said Memorial Day is to honor those who have fallen and given their lives because of a cause started more than 200 years ago — a unique idea of freedom of the people — the U.S.
“Memorial Day is a day off work — a day of hot dogs, hamburgers and picnics to celebrate the first days of summer, and there’s nothing wrong with doing that,” he said. “As long as you take time for remembrance, and to keep in mind that this is a solemn occasion for veterans, no matter what war it was.”
Meyers said it was our responsibility as Americans to understand that the day was not just for vacations and cookouts.
“They have given us the freedom to bear arms, and the freedom to walk where we want and to say what we think,” Meyers said. “They stood for you, and yes, they fell for you.
“Thank you for remembering us.”