Ceremony marks Memorial Day

Flags waved, bells tolled and “Taps” played.

About 100 people gathered on a warm morning to honor service members lost during Havelock’s Memorial Day Ceremony Monday in front of the Havelock Tourist and Event Center. They came “in memory of those who have given everything so that we can have so much,” said Scott Shermeyer, of the Angelo Battista Assembly No. 2894 of the Knights of Columbus, which put on the ceremony.

The event included prayers, a POW/MIA tribute, patriotic music and the placement of wreaths near the memorial outside the tourist center.

“I’ve lost several friends. I wear a bracelet for one of my friends, one of my students, who got shot down and killed,” said Michael Woodruff, Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, who attended the ceremony. “I just wanted to come to support the memory of my fallen comrades. I’ve lost a lot through action, and I’ve lost a lot through training. It’s the hazards that go with the job.”

Hazards, Shermeyer reminded the crowd, for which many volunteered.

“As Americans, we should never forget the brave men and women who answered our nation’s call and served the cause of freedom in a special way,” he said. “Those who have served and those currently serving in the uniformed services of the United States are ever mindful that the sweetness of enduring peace has always been tainted by the bitterness of personal sacrifice. We are compelled to never forget.”

He closed the ceremony with a message of hope.

“As we gather later today for a picnic meal with family and friends, I hope that you can share some memories of loved ones lost, maybe raise a toast to those we memorialize this morning,” he said. “We do pray for the protection of those currently located in harm’s way, that their lives will not have to be sacrificed and that their names never have to be added to the wall in that heavenly service roster under the heading of those who gave the supreme sacrifice.”