A large crowd of over 100 strong gathered on a wet Memorial Day Monday in Salina to remember, and honor, those who have died so that we might all be free. Following brief cemetery services at Gypsum Hill Cemetery and at Roselawn Cemetery, events culminated with a large gathering at the Saline County War Memorial in Sunset Park.
Salina Mayor Jon Blanchard spoke. He began by reciting Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The Mayor then explained how many of Lincoln’s words still ring true today, and spoke about the significance of Memorial Day in Salina.
“We here in Salina and Saline County remain true to the real purpose of this day and to our obligation to observe it with great respect and reverence. Perhaps this is due to our rich tradition and close association with the armed forces in Salina and Saline County, or that maybe in our community there are many veterans, and others, who have served at Camp Phillips, Smoky Hill Army Airfield, or Schilling Air Force Base. But with certainty I can say that it is due to our community’s recognition of, and desire to honor the ultimate sacrifice, of the 234 fallen service members from Salina and Saline County represented on these bronze panels.”
The ceremony Monday included an original poem written and recited by Salinan Norma Linenberger, and the reciting of a beloved poem titled “I am Your Flag”. The author of that poem, James W. Fillmore, happened to be among those in the audience.
The ceremony also included a 21 gun salute, and echoing “Taps” played by two trumpeters.