Boykins cherishes its past

Published 10:23 am Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The people of Boykins who rest serenely in Beechwood Cemetery, or elsewhere, were remembered by the living on Sunday afternoon. This was the occasion of the town’s 102nd Memorial Service.

Leading in that reminiscing was the guest speaker, Richard L. Francis, himself a former longtime mayor.

“It is here at this place … at this time … that we come to take stock of ourselves … to take stock of the town we call home and to say, ‘thank you,’ to servicemen and women who have been willing to put themselves in harm’s way so that we might gather in a free country under a proud flag,” he said.

Francis, who serves as clerk for Southampton County Circuit Court, also called attention to those residents he personally once knew in life.

Referencing a song, “Here’s to the Trains I’ve Missed,” Francis said it “conveys the sentiment that the ‘ups and downs of life that affect everyone,’ have molded each of us to be what we are. Those that molded me, rest here.”

He noted that from the Civil War through World War II, there were 214 Boykins residents who reported for duty when their country called, and that six had died in service.

“While all service is honorable, when those in uniform are your friends, your neighbors and your family, the meaning is all the more.”

Later in the program, veterans present in the audience came forward to receive certificates of appreciation for their service to the nation.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 17 posted the colors of the U.S. and Virginia flags, with Scout Christopher Newsome playing “Taps.”

Ricky Baugham performed songs such as “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes.

Giving the invocation was Pastor James Young of Berean Baptist Church, and Pastor Heewon Cho of Boykins United Methodist Church.