Round Lake Memorial Day service honors locals who answered call of dutyROUND LAKE — “I heard about the definition of a veteran the other day,” Round Lake American Legion Post 461 Commander Bruce Hasara told the crowd gathered Monday morning for the town’s Memorial Day service.
ROUND LAKE — “I heard about the definition of a veteran the other day,” Round Lake American Legion Post 461 Commander Bruce Hasara told the crowd gathered Monday morning for the town’s Memorial Day service.
“A veteran is someone who writes a blank check to the U.S.A., payable in an amount up to and including their life,” he said.
After the colors were advanced, the American Legion Honor Roll and the American Legion Auxiliary Honor Roll were read.
Lt. Cmdr. Bradley Garms, a 1995 graduate of Sioux Valley-Round Lake-Brewster High School, gave the address, sharing stories of those left behind in wartime.
“When I think of the friends that I have lost over the years and I picture their faces, I rarely feel sorry for them. Because like them, I know and accept that losing one’s life is a daily risk that accompanies our service,” said Garms, a U.S. Navy pilot stationed at the Lemoore Naval Air Base in California.
“Rather, I feel sorry for their families: their wives, their children, and their parents. For them, the pain, anguish and mourning have only just begun. A lifetime of coping with that significant loss awaits them.”
He recalled stories of Round Lake residents who answered the call of duty through the generations, focusing on the inner strength of the soldiers’ families and friends, who provided unwavering support amid worries about what could happen to their loved ones in battle. “While we often hear of the tribulations faced by our troops, we don’t often hear of what our spouses must endure while the hero is away,” he said.
During World War II, “rationing had hit its stride, yet the community marched on, doing what they could to support the local boys oversees.”
The event included a prayer from the Rev. Marvin Soulek and presentations by Round Lake-Brewster students. Jacquelynn Ling read “In Flanders Fields,” Benjamin Postma recited “The Gettysburg Address,” and Matthew Bah and Timothy Kennedy read “I Am Your Flag.” Students also provided musical selections: Ally Cross and Michaela McDaniel played a flute duet, and Ling and Olivia Stanton performed a trumpet duet.
After the colors were retired, the service at Round Lake-Brewster High School concluded at the cemetery, with a salute by the firing squad and a performance of “Taps,” played by Sgt. at Arms Vern Jansen.