A good crowd gathered at the Bailey County Cemetery today, Memorial Day, May 27, 2024, to remember the fallen from all our American wars and conflicts.

Raul Torres welcomed everyone to the service. Basil Nash, Eddie Alvarado, Joseph Carpenter, and Joel Cowart raised the flag and then lowered it to half-mast in honor of the fallen.

Judy Coffman led the group in singing the National Anthem, but most of us just listened to her sing it beautifully. Stacy Conner was the speaker for the day. He reminded us that we are gathered to remember those who helped shape our lives by their sacrifices. He told us about Joshua leading the Children of Israel across the Jordan river with God’s help and the gathering of twelve stones from the river, which is a reminder of God’s deliverance across the Jordan River onto dry land. And that is basically what we are doing today, remembering those who saved us. He then talked about a battle in WWII when 2500 Allied troops turned back 25,000 Japanese troops. A memorial now stands in an Allied cemetery in India, which says, “For your tomorrow, they gave their today.”

Stacy then led everyone in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and Raul dismissed the crowd until next year. Much of the crowd had already disbursed when I took this picture, but it was a good crowd for a meaningful service.

Individual flags had been placed by veterans’ headstones. I took these two images as I left. We may not know all those who were remembered with flags, but we owe them our heartfelt gratitude.

Godspeed to them all.

Next year I would encourage you to gather up your children and grandchildren, neighbors, and attend the ceremony. We all need to know that Memorial Day is not just another day to have a sale.

Thanks to Basil Nash, Stacy Conner, and Gilrobert Rennels  for their help with this story.