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Greenwood and Crestview cemetery in Cairo was the location of a twilight Memorial Day ceremony conducted by the Grady County Veterans Honor Guard Monday.
Master of ceremonies John Ulrich described the guard as “the aging warriors of an older generation” who served our country in their youth.
“We have never stopped serving and our continuing mission is to insure that our deceased brothers and sisters receive the military honors to which they are entitled by their service,” Ulrich said of the guard’s service to veterans.
Charles Parker, honor guard chaplain, provided the invocation, followed by the posting of colors by the Cairo High School Naval Junior ROTC.
Jesse Hobby, Honor Guard Commander, was the featured speaker.
Hobby told the crowd gathered, “Truly, no American has loved us more than the service member who has offered their last breath to secure that which we cherish. Everywhere we go they are with us.”
Charles Jackson, commander of VFW Post 8433, read the names of the American soldiers who died abroad during the past year as a final salute to their service and sacrifice.
The Honor Guard’s flag detail demonstrated a flag unfolding and refolding as they would during an official funeral service before presenting the folded flag to the family.
The firing detail then fired three volleys over the graves of both Greenwood and Crestview, and Chaplain Parker provided a benediction.
Bugler Tom Sampson closed the ceremony with a solemn performance of “Taps.”
Commander Hobby said at the same time the twilight service was taking place, a second bugler, Grady County resident Steve Avant, a member of Bugles Across America, played “Taps” at two other cemeteries in Cairo, Forrest Lawn and the Cairo City Cemetery.
Earlier in the day, the traditional Memorial Day ceremony held at the Grady County Courthouse attracted a large crowd.
The event, sponsored by American Legion Post 122, featured a keynote address by the Rev. Wayne McDonald, chaplain of Post 122.
The names of Grady’s war dead were read aloud and a wreath was placed at the base of the eternal flame on the courthouse lawn.
Boy Scouts from Troop 383 took part in the ceremony with Devon Rehberg leading the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and John David Bell sounding “Taps.”