tell you that they, themselves, are not heroes. The true heroes are the ones who did not return home.”
Bensley told the crowd, “Your presence here honors them.”
Because of the threat of rain, VFW Post 6027 held their afternoon Memorial Day service inside the building on South Main Street. Its honor guard was able to go outside to execute a gun salute and the bugling of “Taps.”
Hours earlier, warm temps and hints of blue skies welcomed onlookers and participants to Elkton’s Memorial Day Parade, held Monday morning. Participants included the Elkton High School marching band, Elkton Veteran Center and Daughters of the American Revolution’s Head of Elk chapter, as well as town officials, local Boy Scouts and area businesses.
Also that morning, the Mason-Dixon American Legion Post 194 in Rising Sun was able to hold its Memorial Day ceremony outdoors, with people packing the pavilion behind the building under sunny skies.
Rising Sun Mayor Travis Marion, a guest speaker, explained to the crowd that the United States flag is traditionally “raised briskly” to the top of the staff on Memorial Day morning, before it is “solemnly lowered” to half-staff, where it remains until noon.
“The half-staff position remembers the more than 1 million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country,” Marion said. “At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice.”
As Bensley would emphasize later that day during the VFW Post 6027 ceremony, Marion told the crowd the those fallen servicemen and servicewoman are held in the highest regard and that their supreme sacrifice “grants us the right, the privilege, the freedom and the opportunity to gather, to pray and to speak on their behalf.”
“What is common throughout all generations of veterans is the absolute insistence that the gratitude truly belongs — not to them — but to their fallen brothers and sisters who paid the ultimate sacrifice for this country,” Marion said, adding, “We salute those brothers and sisters and pray that they have found a peaceful rest in their heavenly reward with God, our Father.”
The Franz family smiles for a photo during the Elkton Memorial Day Parade.
Vince Mulé, commander of Mason-Dixon American Legion Post No. 194 in Rising Sun, salutes during the Memorial Day ceremony.