Memorial Day meaning

Memorial Day meaning

Scott Truxell, the independent editor, covered Monday’s annual Van Wert American Legion Post 178 Memorial Day service at Woodland Cemetery, emphasizing the importance of teaching, learning, and truly understanding the significance of Memorial Day.

Memorial Day meaning

Stephanie Renner, a teacher and Veterans Day program coordinator at Lincolnview, delivered a poignant message to a well-attended gathering on a cool, windy, and cloudy Memorial Day morning.

 

“In the eyes of many, Memorial Day might just seem like another day off from work,” she remarked. “But do our children truly grasp the meaning behind today? Do they comprehend the profound impact of losing a loved one who bravely served others selflessly? This is why it’s vital for our youth and our community as a whole to grasp the significance of Memorial Day — to come together, to honor the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and to offer support to those who are grieving, recognizing all those who have given their lives to protect strangers they’ll never meet.”  Memorial Day meaning

 

“On Memorial Day, we reflect on the profound sacrifices made by our fallen heroes in service to our nation,” Renner continued. “Their bravery, sacrifice, and unwavering dedication to duty serve as a beacon of inspiration for us all. If we neglect to honor and remember our veterans, then their sacrifices lose their meaning.”

 

“It is crucial that we impart to future generations the true essence of being a veteran — the selflessness, the sacrifices made to safeguard our country, and the profound act of leaving behind everything they hold dear, including their families, friends, and livelihoods, without expecting anything in return.”  Memorial Day meaning

 
Memorial Day meaning

Renner stressed the importance of preserving the stories of veterans, encouraging dialogue to ensure that their sacrifices are never forgotten and that the legacy of the United States as the greatest nation in the world endures.

 

During her speech, Renner shared personal anecdotes about her family’s military history, including her great-grandfather, Lawrence Gehres, a World War I veteran, and her grandfathers, Vernon C. Kill, a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, and Richard Gehres, a U.S. Navy veteran also from World War II. She fondly recalled Kill’s character, describing him as a man of boundless love and selflessness, despite her regretful inability to meet him due to his passing.

 

Renner recounted, “Although my grandfather did not meet his end on a battlefield, the injuries he sustained in World War II ultimately led to his passing. Through his letters home and conversations with family members, I learned of the immense sacrifices he made while serving. These sacrifices earned him numerous medals and commendations, including two Purple Hearts.” Memorial Day meaning  Memorial Day meaning

 

She shared a poignant moment from her grandfather’s wartime experience, describing how he bravely attempted to save as many of his comrades as possible after being shot on a bridge by a Nazi tank. Despite barely surviving his injuries, he volunteered to return to the front lines, where he was wounded again.

 

Reflecting further, Renner disclosed that she lost her other grandfather on Memorial Day in 2011, emphasizing his profound impact on her life.

 

“He was an incredibly special person who taught me invaluable lessons, including a deep love for our country and the importance of honoring our veterans,” Renner affirmed. “He held such significance in my life that I once brought him in for show-and-tell during elementary school on a day when we were asked to share something dear to us.”

 

Renner continued, reminiscing about her grandfather affectionately known as “Grandpa Chubby.” She shared how he instilled in his family the importance of honoring veterans by taking them to parades, celebrations, and programs, demonstrating how they should be revered. She then recounted the emotional events of May 30, 2011, the day Gehres passed away.  Memorial Day meaning

 

Despite feeling unwell that morning, Gehres, who was scheduled to participate in a Memorial Day program, called to express his condition. He was swiftly transported to the hospital after suffering a massive heart attack. Renner recalled the urgency of the situation as Lutheran Lifeflight was summoned to transfer him to Fort Wayne’s hospital due to the severity of his condition. During the flight, the Lifeflight nurse continuously performed CPR on Gehres, driven by the singular goal of saving the life of this World War II veteran on Memorial Day.

 

Renner emphasized the importance of Memorial Day, urging everyone to uphold this day of remembrance for future generations. Memorial Day meaning

 

American Legion Post 178 Commander Ken Myers echoed these sentiments in his opening remarks, highlighting the significance of Armed Forces Day, Veterans Day, and Memorial Day. He reminded attendees that Memorial Day is a time to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

 

The service also featured patriotic music by the Paul Hoverman Group, the Placing of the Wreath by Renner and her son Carter Renner, a 21-gun salute and taps, and invocations by Dick Elder. A cannon volley was fired in honor of Civil War veterans who died in combat.  Memorial Day meaning

 

Following the ceremony, a complimentary luncheon was provided for all attendees at Post 178.

In addition to the service in Van Wert, similar events took place in Ohio City, Convoy, Willshire, and Venedocia.

Memorial Day meaning

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