About 200 people gathered at Longmont’s Mountain View Cemetery on a frosty Monday morning to join in the annual Memorial Day commemoration by local veterans organizations.
“To everyone here today, thank you for your patriotism. The American dream is fragile, but by remembering those who served and especially those who gave their all, and working together, we can keep our country strong, ”Tom Daschofsky, Commander John Buckley American Legion Post No. 32 de Longmont, told spectators and ceremony attendees.
Monday marked the resumption by the American Legion Post 32 and Longs Peak VFW Post 2601 of Memorial Day ceremonies in honor of fallen soldiers after canceling memorial activities last year due to the COVID-pandemic. 19.
The event included a joint presentation of the Color Guard, Crowns presented by Legion and VFW posts and auxiliaries and service clubs such as the Elks and Daughters of the American Revolution, a bagpiper playing “Amazing Grace “and a team of riflemen, all alongside the Civilian War Soldier Statue at Mountain View Cemetery, 620 11th Ave.
“Memorial Day is about achieving peace with God as we commemorate those who gave their all, those who gave their lives in defense of our nation, in the service of others,” Ralph Bozella, member of the Post 32 Legion , speaker at the ceremony, said the people who had gathered.
“On this day, we are here to honor and remember our friends, loved ones, and even those we didn’t know, as we reflect on those who made the ultimate sacrifice. And we promise to learn from their sacrifice, ”said Bozella, chairman of the American Legion’s National Veterans and Rehabilitation Commission.
“While this day is set aside to honor those who have died in the service of our nation and our communities, we have expanded our memory to include our loved ones, family and friends, who have passed away before us,” said Bozella.
“As we remember those who fought bravely, let’s take Memorial Day to another dimension,” he said. “Let us not only remember the honored dead.
“Let us also remember those veterans who later died from war wounds, and remember those who died from self-inflicted injuries because they could not receive help to do so. facing the trauma of war ”. he said.
Bozella cited a study which he said found the veterans suicide rate to be 22 per day and said: “We must commit to solving this national tragedy.”
He said: “It is through the vigilance and defense of veterans and their families, working through NPOs (Veterans Service Organizations) and other community service organizations. support, that these issues are uncovered and properly identified and resolved.
Due to the then forecast for rainy weather on Monday morning, the Longmont Veterans Organization on Sunday evening canceled the Joint Color Guard presentations that had been scheduled at Stephen Day Park and the Foothills Gardens of Memory earlier on Monday. Officials said Sunday that the Mountain View cemetery ceremony would take place unless it rains at 11 a.m., which it did not.
“As we all leave this sacred ground, let us pledge to respect and care for veterans and our families and one another,” Bozella said concluding his speech. “Let us pledge to never forget and always honor those who gave everything so that we can live free.”
“We appreciate the number of people who have come forward to honor those who gave their lives for freedom,” Daschofsky said afterwards.