By Donald LaForte
The George C. Brown American Legion Post 26 of Girard remembered fallen soldiers for Memorial Day on Monday, May 29. They toured the city and ended the day with a commemoration at Girard Cemetery.
John Hocevar, commander of Post 26, spoke to a gathering of Legion members, Auxiliary members and Sons of the Legion. He offered words of remembrance for those servicemen who have died.
“May the ceremonies of today deepen our reverence of our departed friends and comrades,” said Hocevar. “Let us renew our pledges of loyalty to our country and our flag. Let us resolve by word and deed to emphasize the privileges and duties of patriotism.”
As the ceremony continued, prayers were said and a gun-fire salute was offered. A wreath was also placed on the monument where the service took place.
“We can and should remember their heroism and their sacrifice. We are humbled by the courage of our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guards, throughout our history,” said Hocevar. “There is no doubt that our veterans, from the greatest generation to the latest generation, have guaranteed our freedom and way of life with their sacrifices. That is why it is important, and in fact, imperative, that we remember them always.”
After the ceremony concluded, all the attendees talked amongst themselves and then left the cemetery.
Hocevar said these ceremonies are important to him and he enjoys doing them.
“It means a lot to me; it’s one thing that I always try to do. It’s an honor to do it,” said Hocevar. “I hope it’s still going when I’m gone. You could say I’m really committed to it, considering I have a broken ankle and done eight services.”
Memorial Day serves as three day weekend to most, but Hocevar said that it means so much more than that.
“What I wish it meant to more people, was that it was not the first three day weekend in the summer, but that it was time to come out and honor soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines that have passed away in service to their country,” said Hocevar. “It’s not just a holiday. I wish they would take the time to come and honor.”