Exeter honored those who gave their lives to defend their country in a service at the Exeter Cemetery on Monday morning.
The flags were standing tall down the avenue of flags with the strong winds on the Nebraska prairie as the color guard presented the colors to open the program.
Tim Wilbeck, master of ceremonies, introduced the Exeter-Milligan band who performed the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Pastor Murry Johnston gave the invocation before Braden Capek read the “Gettysburg Address.” The Exeter-Milligan band then played “America.”
Ben Bartu read “In Flanders Fields,” and the band played “The Grand Old Flag/America, the Beautiful,” before Wilbeck gave the address.
He reminded the audience that they were there to remember the sacrifices those in service gave. He spoked about the qualities of those who gave their lives exhibited, including “courage, pride, determination, and selfless dedication . . .they were called to be a part of something bigger than themselves.”
Wilbeck spoke of ten young men and women who gave their lives in Afghanistan while serving this country. “They represent the best of the generation.”
They were from all over the United States and ranged in age from 20-31, “a diverse group of men and women forever in our hearts . . .with a common goal to serve America.”
He spoke about the heart of a Korean War era airman, Major George Davis, whose “indomitable fighting spirit exemplified valor at its highest.”
Davis, a fighter pilot, came across 12 Chinese MIG and took out two of them before he was shot down.
Wilbeck reminded the audience that over one million Americans have made “the supreme sacrifice, to represent the things we love, God, country and family.”
He encouraged the audience to take care of the loved ones who have been left behind with emotional and financial support.
“Memorial day is not about picnic and parades, although there is nothing wrong with them. It’s about gratitude and remembrance. The reason we can gather in peace.”
The Exeter American Legion Post #218 gave the salute to the dead before Kierra Papik played “Taps,” and Carter Milton “Taps Echo.”
The American Legion Auxiliary served coffee and rolls at the Legion hall following the service at the cemetery.