“Memorializing those who sacrificed to preserve the American way of life”
Fort McPherson U.S. National Cemetery: Memorial Day 2022
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Young men and women, and those who survived to live out the days of war in their minds for years to come; they put on the uniforms of the United States military, and they marched, flew, and crawled into, and not always out of, battle. They saw things some of us could not imagine in the darkest recesses of our minds. Some died on the battlefield, over foreign land, and in oceans and seas and deserts. Some did not want to go, and some rushed in unstoppable. But they all had one thing in common, they were there for us.
Memorial Day across the nation, Americans say thank you. They pray, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and hear the National Anthem and tributes in our veterans’ honor. They listen to speakers, have picnics, go to the lake, work, or do nothing. Or they go about their day and do not think of the holiday at all. But they do it in a free nation because of the men and women buried in places like Fort McPherson, or their own family plots, or somewhere unknown thousands of miles away.
At Fort McPherson today, the road outside the fence south of Maxwell was lined with cars in both directions, with more parked within the gates. People sat, they stood, and they held their hands to their hearts and they saluted. Mostly, they remembered and honored the men and women who made it all possible to be American.
Brian Gallagher Presented the Colors, and Russell Berggren was the Master of Ceremonies. The Invocation was presented by Don Anderson, Chaplain for S.O., P.D., & F.D. The National Anthem was sung by Tia San-Miguel. Jane D. Vega offered the Welcome Address, and the Guest of Honor was Governor Pete Ricketts. A Memorial Address was given by Dwight Livingston.
Memorial Wreaths were presented by all area Veterans Auxiliary Groups, honoring all servicemen, servicewomen, and Auxiliary members.
The Gothenburg Honor Guard offered the “Salute to the Dead of all Wars.” “Taps” was played, echo style, by the North Platte All Veteran Honor Guard.
A flyover was scheduled to be part of the ceremony by the Pantheon Squadron, with an appearance by P51 Experimental Aircraft, but the weather in Colorado did not allow the flyover.
Wings of Love released doves, and Don Anderson offered the Benediction.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Possee and Groundskeepers of Fort McPherson provided parking assistance. Program distribution was done by the various veterans’ organizations and the Boy Scouts of America. In addition, the Groundskeepers of Fort McPherson placed poppy shadow boxes around the cemetery.
The Fort McPherson Memorial Association made this program possible along with organizations of all veterans’ groups and the Auxiliaries in Nebraska. 2022 officers from veterans’ organizations of North Platte are Brian Gallagher, Committee Chair, Russell Berggren, Vietnam Veteran, Ellen Warath, American Legion/VFW Auxiliary, and Molly O’Holleran, Daughters of the American Revolution Representative.
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