After a stormy night, Monday’s Memorial Day observance at the Veterans Monument of the Switzerland County Courthouse was met with warm temperatures and sunny skies. This year’s observance was coordinated by the American Legion Post #185, with the assistance of the VFW Post #5396. American Legion Commander Steve Fritter served as the master of ceremonies for the event.
The featured speaker for the ceremony was Chris See, an Air Force veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, serving a year at Kirkuk Air Base in Iraq.
“I am deeply honored to stand here with you, commemorating the sacrifices of those military women and men who have laid down their lives in service to this great nation,” See said. “On Memorial Day we find ourselves reflecting on those who have bravely risked life and limb in the face of danger, so that we may enjoy the freedoms that we take for granted everyday.”
See then asked for applause in honor those families in attendance who have lost a loved one in defense of this country.
“We understand that it doesn’t matter how much time has passed, no words can ever begin to adequately begin to console the survivor’s grief,” See continued. “Let me just say that those of us gathered here today have the greatest respect for you, and appreciation for the contributions and sacrifices. We are proud to honor them today. Those of us in the military and veteran community, know that we must ensure that the veterans names on this memorial are never forgotten, and their actions stay alive in our memories.”
A highlight of the observance was the reading of each of the names of county soldiers who lost their lives in battle. As the names were read, family members or friends of those soldiers came forward and received a balloon, which carried that soldier’s name. Once all of the names were read, the balloons were released in front of the courthouse, soaring to the sky.
Music for the event was provided by the Vevay Music Club, and also by Nancy Turner.
The observance ended with a 21-gun salute by the Honor Guard; and ‘Taps’ was played.