Copperas Cove VFW post holds remembrance event at cemetery
By PAMELA GRANT
Each year on Memorial Day, across America, many take the time to remember those brave men and women of the military who gave their lives to protect our country.
Members of the Olan Forest Smith Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 8577 gathered at the Copperas Cove Cemetery Monday morning at 10 a.m. where they performed their annual Memorial Day remembrance. Afterwards, they invited the public out to the VFW to enjoy hotdogs and hamburgers.
“As long as two comrades survive—so long will the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States render tribute to our heroic dead,” read Ron Abrahamson, Post Commander for VFW Post 8577, at the start of the remembrance. “We are assembled once again to express sincere reverence. This monument represents the resting place of many departed comrades who served in all wars.”
The VFW holds their service at the Copperas Cove Cemetery because that’s where their post’s namesake, Olan Forest Smith, is buried.
Smith, a native of the Copperas Cove area, was killed in action on Nov. 10, 1944, in Roten, Germany.
As part of the ceremony, members of the VFW decorated a wreath with red, white, and blue flowers as well as an American flag.
“All these service men and women gave their lives for this country and if we don’t have Memorial Day ceremonies then they get forgotten and they should never be forgotten. They gave the ultimate sacrifice,” said Abrahamson.
Prior to the ceremony (and following the ceremony), members of the Boy Scouts placed an American flag by the grave of every veteran in the cemetery.
Kegan Doanb helped lead the Boy Scouts with placing the flags at the Copperas Cove Cemetery. Doanb is a veteran and said that he has friends and people for whom he would normally place flags on their graves, but he will be unable to make the trip this year. Still, he wants to do his part to honor Copperas Cove veterans.
“We come here because a lot of people are running around on their weekend…a lot of people just go to the main Texas veteran cemetery. Not everyone looks after these small hometown cemeteries. You step up and help where you can,” said Doanb. “That’s what we’re doing here today. We’re helping by remembering those who are in those tucked off sometimes forgotten places.”
Doanb’s son, Orion Doanbe (9) was one of the scouts who helped with placing flags Monday morning.
“It’s important to celebrate Memorial Day so we can remember the soldiers who fought and gave their lives so that we can live our lives in the way that we live in now,” said Orion Doanbe.