Ceremonies Honor the Fallen

by Elizabeth Pitts-Hibbard

A small but tenacious crowd gathered at the monument to fallen soldiers in Memorial Park in Duncan on Monday, their willingness to honor those lost in service to the United States unaffected by the light rain.

The annual service, organized by the Stephens County Honor Guard, AmVets, the VFW, and the American Legion, featured remarks by Representative Marcus McEntire.

McEntire emphasized the importance of the ceremony amid the chaos and distractions of our current times. “We live in our own bubbles,” McEntire said. “We have our own problems, families, friends, hobbies, and more…This is why we need a day like today. A day to stop, reset, and get outside our own little worlds and to remember those who fought and who have sacrificed their futures so we could enjoy our present. We need to pause, look back, and remember. Most of us need Memorial Day to stop our normal routines and force us to remember…because we are defined by our past.”

McEntire also pointed out that Memorial Day is not just another day off for many. “For others of us, Memorial Day occurs every day. The thought of a lost son, daughter, mother, father, grandfather, aunt, uncle, cousin, or friend is never far away, no matter how busy we are. Sometimes it is difficult to even smile. For those of you who fall in this camp, our prayers are with you as well as our condolences and sympathy.

He also encouraged those in attendance to remember the fallen with pride.

“We should remember with pride and thankfulness because our wars and conflicts of the past, and those who fought them, have given us freedom and hope for our future.”

Representatives from each of the armed forces placed wreaths on the memorial, followed by acknowledgement of Gold Star families and those who had been prisoners of war. The Honor Guard presented a 21-gun salute and played “Taps.”

A similar ceremony was held earlier in the day in Comanche Fairlawn Cemetery.