Memorial Day 2017
Published on Wednesday, 31 May 2017 09:22
In weather made to order, Memorial Day services were held Monday morning at the Rulo Cemetery and Falls City’s Steele Cemetery with good crowds attending both.
The services were organized and emceed by Larry Whalen, Commander of the Falls City Ceremonial Honor Guard, with Honor Guards assisting.
The speaker at Rulo was Lawrence Fischer, rural Falls City, owner of Fischer Construction and a 20-year member of Company B, Falls City’s National Guard Unit. He has been a member of the Nebraska Land Improvement Contractors for 30 years.
Speaking at Steele Cemetery was Master Sgt. Ashley Hodge, Falls City. She has 13 years of total military service (four years of active duty in the Air Force, and nine years in the Air National Guard) and has made two tours to Iraq, one to Afghanistan and one to Kuwait.
“Memorial Day is not about a three-day weekend and barbecues,” Master Sgt. Hodge said. “It is about remembering the fallen. And while it is an almost 150-year-old tradition stemming from the Civil War, it is just as relevant today. Considering that today our military consists of an all volunteer service it is even more amazing that we have men and women who continue to step up to the challenge and accept the risk of dying for their country. Memorial Day lets us pay respect and tribute to the more than one million individuals who have given their lives for the betterment of this country. These individuals are not only courageous but they are true heroes. We must ensure that they are never forgotten and to keep their spirits alive not only in our memories and hearts but in our everyday actions.
“The men and women who gave their lives in support of our freedom answered their nations call,” she said. “So today, as you leave here and go about the rest of your day, keep the families of those who have lost a military member in your hearts and in your minds.”
Both speakers made excellent talks focused on the ultimate sacrifices made by the men and women being remembered on Memorial Day.
The Reverend John Hogue, pastor of Rulo and Falls City Methodist Churches, gave the prayers at both services.
Volocalists at the services were Terry Campbell, Mid Bauer and Annie Crawford. Participating in both services were the Falls City Ceremonial Honor Guard, the VFW Auxiliary Color Guard, The Kansas-Nebraska Tribal Ceremonial Honor Guard and the American Legion Auxiliary Color Guard.
Boy Scout Troop #396, with Scout Masters David Young and Larry Pounds, participated in both services.
The tribute to departed Veterans was given by emcee Whalen.
Gold Star Mothers saluted were: Mrs. Patricia Holtz, Mrs. Theon Kulhman, Mrs. Anita Nolte and Mrs. Noala Fritz.
The rifles salutes were conducted by a squad of the Falls City Ceremony Honor Guard; Jim Davidson, a retired National Guardsman and a member of the Ceremonial Honor Guard, played ‘Taps.’
Placing crosses at the replica bier at Steele Cemetery were: Revolutionary War, Barbara Sailors; Spanish-American War, Charlotte Gentry; Civil War, Sharon Sells; World War I, Kim Oliver; World War II, Marilyn Capps; Korean Conflict, Kendra Ballaju; Vietnam War, Donna Stumbo; D.A.V., Julie Vollmer; Dessert Storm, Casey Whalen; American Red Cross, Megan Vollmer.
Placing the crosses at the Rulo Cemetery were: Revolutionary War, Jim Prater; Civil War, Tim Koelzer; Spanish-American War, Shelly Waggoner; World War I, Jane Zentner; World War II, Don Simmonds, Korean Conflict, Gary Prater; Vietnam, Rita Goll; D.A.V., Prater; Dessert Storm, Ron Prater; Salvation Army, Melissa Coonce.