Honoring the brave – Memorial Day services held at York’s Greenwood Cemetery

YORK – “With heartfelt pride, we honor the brave men and women of our American armed forces who, throughout our history, gave their lives defending our nation’s cause. Let us never forget their heroic deeds.”

Those were the words greeting about 150 people when they arrived at Greenwood Cemetery in York Monday morning, on Memorial Day, as members of the Legion and VFW Auxiliary handed out programs for the 2024 service.

Each year, the Memorial Day service is conducted under the auspices of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and their auxiliaries. This year was no different.

Legion First Vice Commander Jeff McGregor welcomed the crowd to the area of the cemetery which is dedicated to honor America’s heroes. At this place in the cemetery are located monuments to honor those who have served, as well as the Flanders Field display which is created each year with poppies placed there by the auxiliaries.

Following the national anthem, which was performed by Sophia Becker and Alexis Davis, Post Chaplain Steve Witmer gave the invocation.

Legion Commander Bill Hardy was the guest speaker, talking about his recent trip to Germany where he witnessed post-war Berlin. He talked about the struggles there after World War II, the division which was created, the unity which came when the Berlin Wall came down.

Becker and Davis performed, “God Bless America,” which was followed by the eloquent placing of wreath by local veteran, Stan Jensen, who was assisted by family members.

Military honors were conducted by the Honor Guard from the Legion and VFW. The Honor Guard includes the following Otis Saathoff (Vietnam), John Turnbull (Vietnam), Kim Shepard (Vietnam), Don Kyhn (Vietnam), Dean Fredricks (Vietnam), Ron Hoeft (Lebanon/Grenada), Howard Peters (Lebanon/Grenada), Ardon Anderson (Vietnam), Steve Witmer (Vietnam), Gary Reetz (Vietnam), Ramon Huber (Gulf War) and Jeff McGregor.

The weather was beautiful, which likely helped contribute to the nice-sized crowd. The cemetery was impeccably groomed, thanks to caretaker Todd Gardner and his team. The Avenue of Flags was a striking sight, as the Stars and Stripes flew in the light wind, against the blue sky and the incredibly green grass below. And the thousands of flowers, plants, flags and veteran markers at the graves created a colorful painting of remembrance and honor.

Meanwhile, the same took place all though the day in the other York County cemeteries, as the day was spent remembering and honoring.

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