“Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die. And it is youth who must inherit the tribulation, the sorrow and the triumphs that are the aftermath of war.”
-Former President Herbert Hoover, 1944
Memorial Day is Monday, May 25. This year marks the 147th year that Americans have observed this day to honor our war dead. The holiday dates from a proclamation in 1868 by Gen. John A. Logan, commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, who called for a “Decoration Day” to honor those who gave their lives during the Civil War.
It is the most solemn of all of our country’s national holidays.
American Legion Post 91 will again lead Berea’s Memorial Day observances. The post is named for Army 2nd Lt. Albert Baesel, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War I for trying to rescue a comrade on the field of battle. Baesel and all of Berea’s military dead will be remembered at services and ceremonies. The American Legion will conduct remembrances at Adams Street Cemetery at 8 a.m. on May 25 followed by services at Woodvale Cemetery, where Baesel is buried, at 9 a.m. The Memorial Day parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. Because of construction at McKelvey Park, the ceremony will be held on the Triangle.
St. Paul Lutheran Church will conduct the “Of Faith and Freedom Cantata” at the Coe Lake Gazebo at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 24. This beautiful tribute to America includes an orchestra, chorus and readings by Berea veterans and civic leaders. Participating members represent many churches and organizations in this area. The performance is free. Rain location will be St. Paul Lutheran Church, 276 E. Bagley Road.
Memorial Day is more than a sale at the mall and the chance to fire up the grill for the first barbecue of the season. It is a day to remember that freedom isn’t free and that men and women have died in wars from the Revolution to Iraq and Afghanistan to make sure we can shop at a mall and eat burgers on a Sunday afternoon.
We are grateful for the sacrifices of all those who gave their lives, and continue to give their lives, for our country. Our thanks go out to the American Legion and St. Paul Lutheran Church for keeping Memorial Day close to our hearts.