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Remembering our fallen soldiers

Cove Leader-Press
Some think of Memorial Day as just another three-day weekend or as the unofficial start of summer, but it also stands for something much more meaningful. Memorial Day is a federal holiday for remembering those men and women in the armed forces who died while serving our great country.
Despite flash flood and tornado warnings, thunderstorms, and pouring rain, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 8577 and the Ladies Auxiliary of Copperas Cove hosted their annual Memorial Day ritual.
During the afternoon, Star Group – Veterans Helping Veterans held a wreath laying ceremony indoors.
“To me, Memorial Day is a celebration of our fallen heroes and a remembrance of those heroes,” said Post Commander Mike Tingley of the VFW. “Unfortunately, every time we have conflict in this nation, there is someone that falls. And we owe them for their service to this country…I have lost people in recent conflicts. This post has lost members in recent conflicts. We owe it to them to honor them.”
Tingley said that the group gathers on Memorial Day to render tribute to the heroic dead. He said that the wreath memorial represents the resting places of their many departed comrades in all wars and the ceremony is held in solemn commemoration for their patriotism and service to our nation.
Typically, the group performs the ritual at the cemetery and returns to their base for an after-celebration, but due to the inclement weather, this year’s entire ceremony was held at the base.
“One of the things we’re told is that if you don’t learn your history, we’ll repeat it,” said Bonnie Henderson, a member of the Ladies Auxiliary. Henderson’s father was a WWII vet and she served in the Women’s Army Corps and later the Army. She said that she was glad that so many children were able to attend their tribute and added that it’s important for people to remember all the past wars and conflicts throughout history.
“I thought we had a real nice turnout today. It gives me a good feeling to see that so many people still remember those who gave their lives for this country. There’s so many who do not remember, and it feels good to know that there are those who do still remember,” said Juanita Workman, the Ladies Auxiliary president. “We need to start getting it out to our children more and let them know that, had it not been for these brave people who fight for our country, that we would not have the freedoms that we have.”
Although the VFW members did not hold their ceremony at the cemetery, members of the VFW post’s Boy Scout pack did show up to the cemetery to place flags by the graves of those heroes who died in service of our country.
Monday afternoon, Star Group – Veterans Helping Veterans held their wreath laying at the group’s headquarters on South 4th Street. In spite of threatening weather and a subsquent power outage, the group took time to remember and honor the fallen. The Rabbit Fest Royalty attended this wreath laying ceremony, during which Vietnam veterans were also honored. After the ceremony, the group had refreshments, lit by cell phone lights.


Copperas Cove Leader Press

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