More than 100 guests attended an emotional Memorial Day service at the Galt Cemetery Monday, May 27. American flags lined the fence bordering the grounds, along with crosses, flags and flowers spread throughout the cemetery, all to honor loved ones who have been lost. The ceremony included three musical numbers, the “Star Spangled Banner”, sung by Katherine Schramm, “America the Beautiful” sung by Lisa Maslen and “Taps” played by Raghav Vasudevan, a Galt/Liberty Ranch Unified Ensemble member.
Galt-Arno Cemetery District Manager Belinda Ellis emceed the services and Mayor Paige Lampson, Vice Mayor Shawn Famer and Major Sara Kimsey all spoke to guests, along with Phillip Norton, a representative of Congressman Ami Bera.
Shepherd of the Valley Church pastor, STGC Storrs, offered the invocation, after which Boy Scout Troop 1119 presented the colors, which were hung at half staff, in honor of those who have fallen.
Lampson addressed the guests, giving a brief history on Memorial Day and honoring those who have died serving our country.
“More than 1.1 million men and women have died in wartime throughout the span of our nation’s history,” Lampson said. “This, of course, does not begin to take into account those who were wounded or have gone missing – 2.8 million. These numbers should truly humble us, as they represent people who were our brothers, husbands, fathers, mothers, sisters and friends. These were soldiers woven into the fabric of our community, as well as communities across the nation. They were loved. They were mourned. And they were and are missed. And by you being here today, they will not be forgotten.”
Lampson continued, “Personally, I cannot even begin to comprehend the moment when you send your loved one off to war. You watch them disappear out of your line of sight, knowing it may very well be the last time you will see them. But this has been a stark reality for many families in this country and in our community. Too many have experienced the telegrams, letters, the middle-of-the-night phone calls and the chaplain standing at the front door of relatives to tell them their loved one has made the ultimate sacrifice.
“It is all too easy for those who have never suffered such losses to see past the emptiness that is left in the families and communities.
“As an unknown author said, ‘Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it, it flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.’
“Today is a chance to reconnect to the genesis of our nation’s countless freedoms. It is an important day on which we ground ourselves to the reality, which we should all embrace, that our way of life has been shaped and made possible by those who have served – and especially by those who were lost.”
Farmer honored two local military heroes who had passed away, Lorin Wold and Robert Fawcett. Farmer shared a little of each man’s military service and their community service once they were released from duty.
Ellis would like to thank the following for their help in making the annual event a success: Galt-Arno Cemetery District, Galt Parks & Recreation, Boy Scout Troop 1119, Ladies of Galt Veterans, Galt Seventh-day Adventist Church, Parker Realty, Ben Salas Funeral Home and the ladies and gentlemen who helped decorate the facility, especially the Rodriquez family who placed the crosses and flags.