GRASONVILLE — The local veterans organizations, the Kent Island American Legion, Post 278, in Stevensville, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 7464, in Grasonville, held Memorial Day services, both at 11 a.m. in their respective locations. Both ceremonies were threatened by unwelcome rain, with the Legion moving its event indoors instead of holding it at the Stevensville Cemetery, as follows tradition. Boy Scout Troop 278, sponsored by the Legion, placed small American flags at every veteran’s grave site in the cemetery beginning at 8 a.m. Memorial Day, a service the troop has performed for many years.
At the VFW, about 100 people gathered outside as the rain held off (it had poured about 30 minutes beforehand). VFW Post Commander Craig Conrad began the ceremony, saying, “We are assembled here to remember comrades who have or are serving their country. We must not forget the sacrifices these comrades made and are still making and the suffering they are still enduring for us and our way of life.
“They must remain alive in our minds and hearts until we know they have returned home to their loved ones or have been called to the bosom of Our Heavenly Father. We must continue to give moral support to their families who continue to suffer along with them.”
Conrad shared a statistic he said he finds alarming.
“Studies show that 9 out of 10 young people, ages 25 and under, don’t know the meaning of Memorial Day. Memorial Day is to remember those who have died while fighting to protect our freedoms. We honor their great sacrifice,” he said.
Wreathes were placed at both ceremonies, symbolizing the sacrifices made by those who have died serving the nation. Words and prayers were offered.
The names of those longtime members of both the KI American Legion and Grasonville VFW who died this past year were also remembered, each being read.
At the VFW, those members were: Charles Boone, Herbert Boone, Gene Melvin, Bruce Pulley, Ed Smith, Charles Wilson, Bill Kuykendall and Al Nulph. VFW Ladies Auxiliary members who died were included. They were: Gloria Bahr, Margaret Baker, Jean Conrad and Thelma Williams.
The list of members who passed at the KI Legion included members who died in 2015 and 2016: William Black, Jerome Daisey, John Dobson, David Hartlove III, William Humphreys, Oswald Hunt Jr., Stanley Jackson, William Kuykendall, Robert Lee, Wilfred Mcleary, Oakley Osborn, Paul Peters Jr., Dennis Roy Sr., Howard Smentkowski, James Smith, John Smith, William Stuart, Bernard Tomardy, Gordon Wheeler, Charles Wilson and John Yeigh.
Taps was played at the ceremonies with a final salute.