Moffat County veterans to host Memorial Day service | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County veterans to host Memorial Day service

Patrick Kelly

Craig veterans shoot their rifles into the air on Memorial Day 2014. The same ceremony will be held on Monday at Craig Cemetery.

As part of Memorial Day, Craig residents will remember more than one million Americans who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

"It's a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others. It's a day to be with the family and remember," said former President Ronald Reagan in his 1986 Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery.

Mark Wick, of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 in Craig, said Memorial Day is a somber day of remembrance.

"We've all had friends, comrades, buddies that have passed on and it's a good day to remember," he said.

Jim Meineke, VFW Post 4265, had just turned 19 when he shipped off to Korea as a rifleman with the 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. He fought for two-and-a-half years and was wounded in combat before returning home to the United States.

Memorial Day is an important holiday because our country wouldn't be the same without the soldiers who protect it, Meineke said.

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"We wouldn't be here," he said, emphasizing that it is crucial to remember individuals who died serving their country.

Members of VFW Post 4265 are convening Monday to do just that.

At 11 a.m., the veterans are hosting a Memorial Day service at Craig Cemetery where they will read the names of the approximately 700 deceased servicemen and women from Moffat County.

"It's a labor of love," Wick said.

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, is a federal holiday observed annually on the last Monday of May.

It began after the American Civil War as a result of a desire to honor the dead and has grown into a national holiday with a variety of unique traditions.

Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @MP_Kelly.