CAMBRIDGE — Veterans’ organizations, elected officials, active service members and the public honored on Memorial Day the sacrifices of those who lost their lives in the nation’s conflicts. A ceremony hosted by American Legion Post 91 took place on Long Wharf on May 31, at which those in attendance were urged to remember the fallen, and to promote unity and patriotism.
“It’s good to remember our countrymen who answered the call to serve,” Master of Ceremonies Richard Colburn said, with the county’s World War I memorial fountain behind him. Quoting President Harry S. Truman in an April 17, 1945 radio broadcast to the armed forces, Mr. Colburn added, “America will never forget their sacrifices.”
He said the previous year has been a difficult one for the nation, with divisions having developed among citizens. “I ask you to focus on what unites us, not divides us,” Mr. Colburn said.
George Williams led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Amy Bennett’s acapella “Star Spangled Banner.” Sheila Hickman of the Post 91 Ladies’ Auxiliary then read “In Flanders Fields,” memorializing those killed in First World War fighting.
Rep. Andy Harris (R-1), the event’s guest speaker, said the observance unites all Americans. He said current popular culture has questioned patriotism, and urged the audience to deepen their love of country.
As the son of immigrants who left Eastern Europe to come to the United States, he said, “My parents were so proud to call themselves Americans.”
The presentation of wreaths from many veterans’ and civic groups followed. Randy Welch then performed anthems from each of the five armed services.
Amy Bennett led the crowd in a verse of “God Bless America,” before the event concluded with Post 91 Chaplain W.L. Garlitz’s playing of “Taps.”