Westfield honors veterans, fallen soldiers

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The Westfield American Legion Post 318 held its 91st Consecutive Memorial Day Service at the Summit Lawn Cemetery on May 26. Community members and Boy Scout Troop 107 and Cub Scout Pack 126 joined Post 318 as it honored and paid tribute to those fallen veterans from all wars who have maintained freedom in America.

During the service, Dick McDivitt made the following remarks:

“Again our nation has assembled to honor its heroic dead. A thousand battles of land, sea and air echo the glory of their valiant deeds. Under the quiet sod, or beneath the murmuring waves, their bodies sleep in peace. But in the destinies of veterans, their souls go marching on. Because of them our lives are free. Because of them our nation lives.

“When we recall the things they did, the hero hosts seem mighty in our midst. When peril threatened and their country called, with what divine self-sacrifice they left their paths of peace to spring to arms, to make their breasts a barricade against the nation’s foes. No sorrow for the loved ones left behind could dim the purpose in their souls. No weariness of march and watch could keep them from their hearts’ desire. No horror of the field, or sea, or air could beat their courage down.

“They fought for us; for us they fell. Now with one accord, in deepest reverence, we do them honor. Let us not remember them in anguish; they would not wish our pity. For their sakes also let us not forget the loved ones left behind. Our tears or words of sympathy cannot bring back the comfort of those loving hands or the music of those voices stilled. Only the solemn pride of having given more than all the rest is theirs who live to weep. But all the world, because of what they gave, is debtor to them.

“Comrades, on this Memorial Day let us pledge ourselves anew to patriotic service. Let us make ourselves the friend and brother, son and father, of those who will not see their own again in mortal flesh. Let us grasp with fearless hands the flag so nobly borne before, and, like those others, plant it always on the battlements of righteousness.

“All who stand with us today, will you not consecrate yourselves with us to emulate their sacred service that those who rest in heroes’ graves may not have died in vain?

“Let us stand with bowed heads in solemn memory of our heroic dead.”