TROY — The crowd stood in silence to remember, honor and thank those who have served our country during the city of Troy’s Memorial Day services at Riverside Cemetery
Vietnam helicopter pilot Bob Allen, an Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County volunteer, was the key note speaker of the ceremony.
“Across our nation this Memorial Day, our citizens and veterans will gather to pay homage to America’s finest men and women who gave their lives to defend our freedom,” Allen said. “Honored will be those who gave, what Abraham Lincoln called, ‘the last full measure of devotion’ in a fight for our liberty.”
Allen listed the sacrifices made by the nation’s service men and women from the Revolutionary War through today’s Gulf War and Afghanistan war zones.
“The men and women we honor today were real people — sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, wives and husbands. They were strong and vibrant. They were loved, and are loved. They are missed. Today is not about celebrating the beginning of the summer season or holiday from work. Today is a solemn day of remembrance,” Allen shared.
Allen gazed across the crowd of community members, families and onlookers, and thanked them for their attendance that morning.
“I want to extend a sincere thanks to each of you who decided to come out here today. You do not take your freedom for granted. The price is well known to you. By being here today, you are setting an example for others and at the same time you are remembering that many of our finest young Americans are still serving in harm’s way,” Allen said.
American Legion Post 43 representative April Finch read the list of local departed veterans who have passed on during the last year.
Following the reading, J.B. Gibson, VFW Post 5436, noted how the “ranks are growing thinner” and asked for a moment of silence to remember those who passed on.
American Legion Post 43 Daniel Fesler provided the invocation. The Troy High School band played all of the military service hymns and the Taps.
James and Gulzina Westfall of Post 43 performed the laying of the wreath at the memorial. The Veterans Memorial Honor Guard performed the gun salute with Bob Speck of VFW Post 5436 closing the ceremony with a benediction.
The ceremony was preceded by a rose petal toss of of the Adams Street bridge.