Members of the Exeter Legion Post 218 and the Sons of the Legion Post 218 follow Sargent Brian Moor’s instruction as the present the colors at the program at the Exeter cemetery.
Below- John Tauriella prepares to post the colors at the Memorial Day program in Exeter.
Above – The Exeter-Milligan band performed three patriotic numbers at the Memorial Day program.
Below – Tim Wilbeck gave the address at the Memorial Day program in Exeter.
Above – The twenty-one gun salute was given by the Exeter Legion and Sons of the Legion members.
Below – Jaiden Papik played “Taps,” followed by Emma Olsen who played “Taps Echo” to end the program.
The American Legion Post 218 once again honored the fallen heroes with a program at the Exeter Cemetery on Memorial Day.
The program opened with the honor guard entering with the colors and presentation of the colors.
The Exeter-Milligan band, under the direction of Mrs. Angie Murphy, played, “The Star Spangled Banner.”
The pledge of allegiance was repeated by the audience before the master of ceremonies Butch Jansen welcomed the crowd. Jansen also took the opportunity to read the names of all those service members from the Exeter area who were killed while in uniform.
Father Brendan Kelly gave the invocation before Jaiden Papik read the Gettysburg address. The band followed with “America.” Clint Oldehoeft read “In Flanders Field” and the band played “Salute to Freedom.”
Jansen introduced speaker Tim Wilbeck who has given a moving and meaningful speech at the service for many years. This year, Wilbeck, felt it was different as he was speaking for his father, a World War II veteran who died in January.
He reminded the audience of the many sacrifices the patriots of our country made and how “they represent the best America has to offer.”
Wilbeck spoke of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the twenty years our 2.7 million troops have served there.
He shared the story of Army Sargent First Class Alwyn Cashe, the first African American soldier to receive the medal of honor during the Iraq war. After his vehicle was hit by an IED and rolled over, he was drenched with fuel and realized his vehicle had caught on fire. He pulled six fellow soldiers and an interpreter out of the vehicle and was burned on 72% of his body during the rescue. He died three weeks after the incident from his injuries.
“In combat there might be a moment when you have to make a decision to act, a decision to live or die. . .that’s love,” Wilbeck recognized, “The harsh reality of war is that not everyone will make it home. Let us honor their sacrifice.”
Wilbeck thanked those attending in the hopes that “our gathering is one spark in the flame to honor those who made the sacrifice.”
After the 21 gun salute led by Sargent Brian Moor “Taps” was played by Jaiden Papik and Emma Olsen played “Taps Echo.”