For the first time, Dawson Countys annual Memorial Day ceremony was hosted by the high schools Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), which brought many in the audience to tears.
Held at Veterans Memorial Park Monday, the JROTC decorated a cloth-covered table with items symbolic of military service.
The lone candle symbolizes the frailty of our prisoners, alone, trying to stand up against their oppressors, JROTC Battalion Cmdr. Woody Perry said.. Remember. There is salt on the plate symbolic of the familys tears as they wait and remember. The glass is inverted; they cannot toast with us tonight, maybe tomorrow, if we remember. A slice of lemon is on the bread plat to remind us of their bitter fate if we do not bring them home. Remember.
House Rep. Kevin Tanner delivered the keynote address to an audience of approximately 80 gathered under cloudy skies and a blue tent to honor and remember their loved ones.
I can tell that you may question the resolve of our leaders, Tanner said. You may question the direction that some want to take our country, but I implore you to never question the resolve of the men and women who feel the internal call to voluntarily wear the uniform that represents the greatest fighting force on the face of the earth the United States military.
The JROTC hoisted flags to honor members of Americans five military branches of service, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
In an especially poignant moment, Dawson County firefighter, James Rutmann, wearing traditional knee-length, Scottish Highland pleated tartan cloth, played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes, while away from the gathering symbolizing the need for a quiet moment of remembrance.