Craig remembers fallen heroes on Memorial Day |

Craig remembers fallen heroes on Memorial Day

Noelle Leavitt Riley
A Memorial Day ceremony was held at Craig Cemetery Monday morning. Ed Wilkinson, left, sits next to fellow veteran Bob Neher as names of deceased veterans were called out in honor of their service to the United States.
Noelle Leavitt Riley

Memorial Day is a time to honor America’s deceased veterans — those who died in combat and those who served and passed at a later time.

“Memorial Day is about remembering. This day should remain sacred for all citizens of this great republic,” said Veterans of Foreign War commander Johnny Garcia, reading the VFW’s Commander Message. “Memorial Day was born out of necessity, in an attempt to make sense out of the horrendous loss of life suffered during the civil war, which killed more Americans than any previous wars or wars since.”

The first Memorial Day was held on May 5, 1866, honoring those who died in the civil war. As time passed, other states adopted the Memorial Day tradition that is now a national holiday, Garcia said.

Memorial Day is now recognized across the nation on the last Monday of May.

Members of the local VFW post 4265 and Craig’s American Legion Post 62 said numerous times during the weekend that Memorial Day is about fallen heroes, not parties and barbecues.

“Memorial Day honors all veterans killed in the defense of the nation’s freedom,” Garcia said. “The American life has not been gained cheaply. Over 1 million Americans have sacrificed their lives and thousands suffered disabilities because they had the courage to fight for our freedom.”

After Garcia and other veterans spoke, the names of deceased Craig vets were called in alphabetical order.

“Listening to the names being recited, I think, ‘My goodness, I went to school with them and he was an ornery son of gun and now he’s a hero,’” said Twila White, who passed out paper poppy flowers to those in attendance.

Darlene Chamberlain attended the Memorial Day service with her daughter, granddaughter and great grandson. Her husband, Ted Chamberlain, served in the Navy during the Korean War. He didn’t die in combat, but instead returned home and spent a long life with his family in Moffat County before passing away in 2010.

Each Memorial Day, Darlene Chamberlain and her family attend the services at Craig Cemetery.

“It’s to honor my husband and his memory and all the soldiers who lost their lives and soldiers who are still losing their lives,” she said.

Her 6-month-old great grandson, Kian Brookshire, sat quietly on her lap as she listened to veterans’ names being called.

“Today, we as a grateful nation want to remember sacrifices for our freedom. We thank God we are Americans,” Garcia said to the crowd.

Contact Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or Contact Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or or follow her on Twitter @noelleleavitt.Contact Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or or follow her on Twitter @noelleleavitt.

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