The Cleveland Frost American Legion Post 50 hosted a Memorial Day observance in Berea Sunday, paying tribute to the men and women who died in service in their country. The event took place at Berea Cemetery where a unit from the Madison Southern High School Air Force ROTC presented the colors, while the Madison County Veterans Association Honor Guard provided a 21-gun salute and a performance of “Taps.”
Berea Mayor Steve Connelly was the keynote speaker, calling for national unity in remembrance of the nation’s fallen heroes and its common heritage:
“We gather today to honor the Americans who gave their lives so that future generations might live in freedom. All across our country, Americans bow their heads in thanks to our fallen heroes. With flags at half mast, with flowers placed on graves, with colorful parades, with quiet prayers, we take this time to remember their sacrifices and renew our commitment to their ideals.
In this quiet cemetery, the rows of headstones give silent testimony to their stories of sacrifice and service that make up our nation’s history. They mark the final resting place of a spirit that has guided our country for more than 200 years, and illustrates a shared devotion to defend our nation, protect our freedom, and keep America strong and proud.
We know our country is strong and great today, in part, because of them. We know that to honor their extraordinary sacrifice, we must all resolve to keep the United States the world’s leading force for peace and security, for prosperity and freedom. And we know that now, more than ever, this burden of service weighs most heavily on our men and women in uniform and their families.
On this Memorial Day, let us draw inspiration from the spirit that surrounds us here, to provide the support that our military and their families need and deserve. And let us remember as we look out over these markers that the origin of Memorial Day, the practice of honoring America’s fallen heroes, began near the end of the Civil War, the deadliest and most divisive conflict that our nation has ever known. Thinking about that deep and bloody national division should help us to remember what joins us together as Americans.
We are descendants of a common creed. – one nation under God. We are all partners with a common purpose: to keep our nation free and strong; a force for peace and progress; a place where people who work hard and take responsibility have the chance to make the most of their own lives, build good, strong families, and live out their dreams in dignity and peace. With these goals continually in mind, and as we seek to uphold our obligations as One America, may God bless our departed heroes and the country for which they made the ultimate sacrifice to serve.
And may God bless you all.”