Large turnout highlights county’s Memorial Day observance

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A large crowd attended Monday’s official county observance of Memorial Day under warm and sunny skies.

The observance was held at the Veterans Memorial at the Switzerland County Courthouse, and this year was organized by the Vevay American Legion Post #185, in conjunction with Vevay VFW Post #5396. Each year the organizations switch as to which group will lead the observance.

With the area decked out in red, white, and blue, the day got started with American Legion commander Lowell Wayne Sullivan welcoming the crowd. Mary Jo Meyer opened with prayer, and everyone participated in the “Pledge of Allegiance” and the National Anthem.

Nancy Kidwell provided music, singing “God Bless America” and other patriotic songs.

The featured speaker for the day was K.C. Banta, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and currently a member of the Switzerland County Commissioners.

He told the audience about the importance of Memorial Day, sharing his own stories and recollections about his time in service to his country while telling the group assembled about different soldiers that had been an important part of his life.

He stressed that people should never forget the sacrifices that have been made on their behalf by soldiers, and challenged everyone to remember those sacrifices each and everyday – not just one day a year.

Commander Sullivan also told the crowd that special tribute should be paid to those men and women who served during World War II, and asked that World War II veterans who were present at Monday’s observance to stand and be recognized.

The services continued with a 21-gun salute by the honor guard, and Switzerland County High School senior Aaron Deacon played “Tapps”. Veteran Richard Adams then closed in prayer.

Following the conclusion of the official ceremonies, many veterans and citizens took time to visit the Veterans Memorial while sharing thoughts and stories.