Craig honors deceased soldiers on Memorial Day
May 25, 2015
Freedom rang from Craig Cemetery Monday morning as rifles were shot into the air and taps was played on the trumpet, honoring service men and women of the United States military.
Heads hung low as members of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Daughters of the American Revolution read names out loud of nearly 700 deceased Craig veterans who bravely contributed to America's freedom.
"There's so many names of people I know," said Twila White, a lifelong resident of Craig. "A lot of friends and, of course, family — uncles. A lot of the kids I went to school with."
Her husband, William White, served in the Army, and the couple lives together in Craig. Twila White had the important duty of handing out "remembrance" poppy flowers, which are used to commemorate soldiers who died in war.
The sky was gray and rain sprinkled as the crowd somberly gave respect to fallen heroes. The sun tried to peak out on several occasions but was mainly hidden behind clouds.
Families brought blankets, chairs and umbrellas to the ceremony, patiently and politely listening to names being called.
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"I spent 12 years in the Army. It's what I wanted to do since I was a kid," said Guy Bradshaw from Craig's VFW Post 4265. He was the first man in his immediate family to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces since World War II.
Bradshaw stood proudly next to VFW comrades Mark Wick and Ryan McCurdy throughout the ceremony.
"It's an honor," McCurdy said about being a part of Craig's Memorial Day service. McCurdy recently joined Craig's VFW post after leaving active duty.
McCurdy is a new VFW member joining old-timers like Jim Meineke, who served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War, where he earned two purple hearts.
When asked about how he received the hearts, his eyes filled with tears and he declined to answer.
"It's too hard," he said.
Meineke did outline that he's been in Craig for many years and that it's emotional for him because he knows many of those who have passed away.
After the Memorial Day service concluded, attendees hugged one another and shared stories of their loved ones who served their nation bravely.
Reach Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or nriley@CraigDailyPress.com. Follow her on Twitter @noelleleavitt.