Veterans sacrifices honored
Residents gathered at Susanville’s Diamond Crest Cemetery around noon for a solemn recognition of the more than a million men and women who have given their lives since the Revolutionary War.
Shel Merchant, Commander of the Northeastern District Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), served as the master of ceremonies for the event.He thanked the American Legion and the Boy Scouts for the Avenue of Flags and the Cub Scouts for decorating all the veterans’ graves in the cemeteries with flags.
Many were also adorned with flowers left by family members.
Merchant also thanked the Job’s Daughters International and the Camp Fire Girls for their contribution to the ceremony.
Mike Stark, VFW commander, reminded those in attendance the American Idol television show is a Hollywood production, and the real American idols are those veterans who lie in the cemetery.
“Remember these people,” Stark said. “These are the people who gave it all.”
Retired Lt. Commander Susan Hawkins, who serves as Lassen County’s veterans affairs officer, lamented the change in Memorial Day over the years, complaining it was becoming “a nameless and faceless holiday.”
Hawkins said the stories of these veterans are being lost with every succeeding generation and “our heritage of freedom is being taken for granted.”
Christine Boyd, president of the Soaring Eagle Chapter of the Blue Star Mothers, said mothers and other family members throughout history have the same concerns as their sons leave the comfort of their homes to go off to war.
“Freedom is not free,” Boyd said.
The Lassen High School (LHS) band played a medley of service anthems and the LHS choir presented an a cappella rendition of the national anthem. The American Legion rendered honors and a rifle salute
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