Two million men and women have died in the military service of the United States, the Rev. Mike Lawyer of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Orion, told those attending the service on Memorial Day, May 28, at Orion High School.
Memorial Day is a chance “to honor our fallen by our presence today,” Lawyer said. “Sadly, many Americans have lost their connection with this very special day.”
Rain on Monday morning forced the observance to be moved from the Orion Community Veterans Monument, Central Park, to the high school.
The service began with Orion American Legion Post 255 and Sherman J. Sagadin VFW Post 143 presenting the colors.
Kurt Cramm sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Lawyer gave the invocation, asking God “to accept our thanks for those who died for us and to refresh those who mourn.”
Emcee George Rose gave a short speech. He mentioned the need to take care of the families of the fallen warriors, and to offer help to the wounded.
He also asked those attending the service to contact Henry County officials and ask to have County Highway 7, which runs through Andover and Lynn Center, named in honor of Army Sgt. Michael Leif, the only resident of the Orion school district who died in 1969 in Vietnam.
Pat Cooper, representing the monument committee, dedicated new bricks in honor of veterans Axel E. Carlson, Clifford Carlson and Kenneth Cook, and in memory of Helen Thulin.
The Orion Community Band played a medley of military theme songs, including the Coast Guard and Merchant Marine songs, and a medley of patriotic songs.
A moment of silence honored veterans who died during the previous year, including Harris Hughes, George Smith and Keen “Bud” Enders of the American Legion post, and Terry McVietty and Robert Stinson of the VFW post.
At the end of the service, bugler Tracy Hepner played “Taps” from the back of the gym with Tom Duncan echoing her from the commons.