Memorial Day was observed Monday with a somber ceremony sponsored by the Criswell-Robinson, Cabot American Legion Post 71. The observance was held at Cabot Veterans Park Community Center, with placing of a memorial wreath at the Veterans Memorial monument.
Master of Ceremony was Navy chief petty officer (retired) Carl Schmidt, a member of Post 71. Schmidt, said he had served in the submarine force as an electronic technician, and is now senior vice president of the National Submariners Association.
Schmidt opened the ceremony with a reading of the poem Just a Common Soldier (A Soldier Died Today), by A. Lawrence Vaincourt.
Keynote speaker was Air Force (retired) Lt. Col. Richard Gray, military affairs liaison to U.S. Senator John Boozman.
Opening remarks were by post commander Ron Bissett. He remarked that he knew his 30-year Air Force career was worth it, “Because we are meeting here today as a free people.”
But through the demands of a military career, it is easy to forget the support so many had at home, and those are the wives who kept the “home front safe,” he said.
“They had to keep the wolf away from the door,” while the soldiers stood against tyranny, Bissett remarked. When remembering those who are deployed, also remember those who wait behind, he said.
Past post commander Allen Miller spoke of the history of Memorial Day, but said it is more important to remember what the day is about. “What is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all,” he said.
Schmidt, with post member James Sanders, explained the significance of the POW/MIA display at foot of the lectern.
Those who were left behind, or never found, must never be forgotten, Schmidt said.