Brookens: Don’t let sacrifices be in vain
Seven score and 10 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address, commemorating the soldiers who died in the Battle of Gettysburg. Lincoln said those soldiers did more to consecrate the battlefield than any dignitaries could do.
“We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain,” Lincoln said, in part.
Former 70th District Rep. Bob Brookens quoted Lincoln’s speech during the Memorial Day service at Marion Cemetery. He echoed Lincoln’s sentiment that it is up to everyone to pursue the goals of liberty that soldiers killed in the line of duty sacrificed for.
Memorial Day originated as Decoration Day, commemorating Union soldiers in the Civil War. It was expanded to include all soldiers who died serving their country and is now a day when many people commemorate departed loved ones, whether they served in the military or not, Brookens noted.
Brookens hailed civilians who make sacrifices for others, such as teachers in Newtown, Conn., and Moore, Okla., who risked themselves to protect students from a shooter and a tornado, respectively.
The group of people who gathered at the Civil War monument at Marion Cemetery despite the threat of rain sang the “Star-Spangled Banner” together. Pastor Jeremiah Lange of Marion Presbyterian Church gave the invocation and benediction.
The ceremony also included placement of a memorial wreath and dedication of a memorial for the ashes of retired flags. Leslie Wandler played “Taps” on bugle, and veterans gave a rifle salute.