Memorial Day services were held at four area cemeteries with a final event at the VFW Post No. 2173 this past Monday in Vandalia to honor veterans.
VFW members led memorial services at the Curryville Cemetery, Farber Cemetery, Memorial Garden Cemetery, and Vandalia Cemetery.
Rev. Joel Montgomery, of the First Presbyterian Church in Vandalia, was this year’s guest speaker.
He shared the Bible verse John 15:13 (KJV) which reads “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
He referenced the beginning of the holiday with roots back to the Civil War.
He also shared Hebrews 12:1-2 (KJV).
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
“Brothers and sisters, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses,” Rev. Montgomery said. “People who have given their lives and an imitation of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ.”
He also encouraged those in attendance to follow the example and to run with perseverance the race set before everyone.
“There are men and women coming home that we need to take care of, that we need to watch out for and we can sacrifice ourselves to provide for them as well,” he added.
The event began with Larry Shaw providing the opening comments. Rev. Bob Hoehn, of Spencer Creek Baptist Church, then followed with the Invocation. Post members presented the colors before Kevin Morris sang the national anthem. Shaw led those in attendance through the “Pledge of Allegiance.”
Brian Hummel performed “Proud To Be An American” moments before Shaw introduce the guest speaker. The St. Cecilia Music Club sang “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” A gravesite service was held. It was followed by a rifle salute and Cody Buie performing “Taps and Echo.”