Memorial Day observed

Chad Frey
The Kansan
Rain on Monday morning led to a change of venue for Memorial Day observances in Newton. However, flags had already been placed on veteran graves at Greenwood Cemetery.

It was not the location most desired for the 2021 Memorial Day observance — traditionally the American Legion hosts a ceremony at Greenwood Cemetery. 

But mother nature forced a change of plans on Monday, with rain starting overnight Sunday and continuing through much of Monday. The ceremony was moved from the cemetery to the American Legion Post on Spencer. 

"We don't have control over the weather," said Paul Sanford, post commander who was pressed into service as speaker Monday after another speaker canceled due to illness. 

Those in attendance at the Memorial Day observance at the American Legion participated in the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of "God Bless America"

But there was a ceremony — unlike one year ago when Pandemic COVID-19 and public health orders canceled the ceremony all together. 

"We are here today .... to honor those sacrifices made by millions of heroes who have died defending the country since the American Revolution. That sacrifice is painfully shared by the Gold Star Families of those heroes. Most of us will not truly understand the depths of their despair unless we have experienced it."

He said there are ways to observe that sacrifice.

"We always offer our support. We can wear the poppy ... We can place flags and wreaths at the graves. We can donate to charities that provide for the families. We can look at the surviving brothers and sisters in arms and say 'thank you for your service.'"