I just returned from the VFW ceremony at the Ramona, Ok. cemetery that we annually attend. I was really disappointed in the attendance this year. It seems to be dwindling each year. Probably no more than 75 attended. In years past at least 150 would be in attendance. It was attended basically by older people who are still continuing in the traditions of the past. Our oldest daughter and the son-in-law attended. Maybe I will have one more generation that will continue going forward. I told one person that since the younger generation isn’t attending this type event, perhaps we should plant bulbs on the graves to have flowers this time of year
The VFW service is the highlight of Memorial Day to pay tribute to our fallen veterans of foreign wars. Many from this area paid the ultimate sacrifice that we can enjoy some of the freedoms we have today. This is what Memorial Day is all about; to pay tribute to men and women, few that we personally knew, to preserve a way of life that most take for granted. I believe all but 2 of the men pictured served during World War II. Don Raley, the speaker, has been in the VFW conducting this type event for 53 years now. Notice that there is only 1 young man in this VFW. When the old-timers are gone I don’t know what will happen. After the introductory remark we all took part in the Pledge of Allegiance. Directly afterwards a Christian prayer is still prayed. It is refreshing to know that in some places in this country we can still publicly pray to The God of Heaven without having problems.
After a few remarks by the spokesman 7 VFW members perform the 21 gun salute. Notice one of the gun jammed.
After the 21 gun salute members who have passed away during the past year are named.Taps is then blown by 2 bugles. I still get shivers when I hear it.
This is a very simple, non-professional event, but very proud American in nature. I’m thankful that I live in the United States of America. We aren’t a perfect country by far, but after living and traveling to other countries I am still proud to call it home. On the way back to the car we stopped by the grave site of my father-in-law. He was a veteran of World War II who passed away in a boating accident while fishing in 1977. We were in theological studies at the time when we got the phone call. Charlie was a wonderful man. He was a laid back, soft spoken man full of patience. I wish that all of my children could have known him as their grandpa. The most wonderful thing happened to Charlie before he passed away. As I said, we were in school in Springfied. Charlie had never trusted in Christ to save him from his sins. My wife and I had been a witness to him and on the night before they left he and I were talking. It was during this last talk that I was given the privilege to lead Charlie to Christ. He repented of his sins and became a new creation in Christ Jesus. After returning home he was baptized and became a regular at church. It was an answer to prayer by many for years. Charlie was a “good man”, but he was still a sinner that needed his sins forgiven by the grace of God. When he died in that tragic accident, it was much easier knowing that we will once again reunite with him. We love you Charlie, and miss you. We will see you when we get to Heaven. Such is life where I live. This is just a little glimpse of rural America and our continued way of life. Tomorrow the bird log continues. Until tomorrow, Lord willing, Levi