Each year as I do the photos and write ups for services in Westfield, Knoxville and Sabinsville, I notice that the participants and people in the cemeteries and veterans parks decreases.

Where have the patriots gone who loved to honor our deceased servicemen and women gone? It is sad that people do not remember why there is a Memorial Day. Yes, it is a day off of work and many families have picnics, etc., and that is great but please remember why you have those freedoms.

The 9 a.m. parade and service in Westfield at the Krusen was short. Legion Post 519 commander Carleton Swetland introduced Westfield mayor Beth Rowland who read a short sincere statement about service personnel lost in all wars.

In Knoxville, VFW commander Larry McFall was the Master of Ceremony and he introduced Olive Wood who read a commentary entitled, “What is a veteran” naming many persons throughout society. The service in Knoxville changes locations in the cemetery each year to honor a different deceased veteran. This year it was located at the gravesite of Sheridan Hurd.

At the Veterans Park in Sabinsville, where the largest gathering of the day occurred, the citizens committee in Sabinsville under the direction of Ed and Janie Baer put forth a very dedicated and solemn service to honor all deceased veterans of the area, especially those from Clymer Township. I was honored to be the keynote speaker for the service this year and I gave a talk on “Patriotism” and how it has changed through the years.

A very sincere thank you goes out to the Cowanesque Valley High School band under the direction of Natalie DelVechhio and drum major Evan Kies for marching and playing the National Anthem at all three of these ceremonies.