Songs, readings, 'Taps' at Hartshorne Memorial Day events

·3 min read

Jun. 1—Military veterans, along with their families, friends and supporters gathered at Hartshorne's Elmwood Cemetery for Memorial Day Services.

They sang, prayed, and heard poems during the ceremony. They saluted or placed their hand over the their heart when young Julian Suter led those assembled for the ceremony in the Pledge of the Allegiance during the service, hosted by Plunkett-Hancock American Legion Post 180.

Hartshorne had another Memorial Day-related event in the afternoon. Hartshorne High School band trumpeter Hunter Fry stood next to to the Veterans Memorial at Elmwood Cemetery, hoisted his trumpet and played "Taps" as part of the "Taps Across America" project. It called for participants to honor the nation's fallen by playing "Taps" at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day.

The American Legion ceremony began with a welcome by Post 180 Commander John Beauchamp, followed with posting of the colors by American Legion member Stacy Garvin and laying of the wreath at the Veterans Memorial by Haileyville High School student Aiden Jennings.

Post Chaplin Dan Denny gave an opening prayer and Chaplin Sherry Mickle read the names of 25 veterans from the Hartshorne and Haileyville areas who died in 2020-2021.

Sheryl Moore then stepped forward for a reading of "In Flanders Fields," John McCrae's well-known World War 1 era poem.

"In Flanders Fields the poppies grow, between the crosses, row on row, that mark our place. While in the sky, the larks still bravely singing fly, unheard amid the guns below, " she read. "To you from falling hands we throw, the torch to you to bear it high."

When Moore completed her reading, Maddie Walker came to the podium for a reading of "America's Answer," by R.W. Lilliard.

"Fear not that ye have died for naught; The torch ye threw to us we caught; Ten million hands will hold it high; And freedom's light shall never die, in Flanders Fields."

Also during the ceremony, youth from the Haileyville Assembly of God Church sang the Lee Greenwood song, "God Bless the U.S.A."

"I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free," they sang. "And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me."

Accompanied by Doug Jennings on guitar and led by Meagan McGuire, the group included Aiden Jennings, Madie Walker, Aleah McGuire, Laney Walker, Robin Walker and Sheryl Moore.

Post Chaplain Denny noted that usually a member of the military gives the message. He said this year they would get a different perspective, regarding Memorial Day from a student's viewpoint, as he introduced Haileyville senior Jenessa Dugger.

Dugger related how Memorial Day began as Decoration Day regarding those killed during the American Civil War, before eventually expanding to include those lost in all the nation's wars. It's also become a day to remember all lost loved ones.

Denny and Doug Jennings then picked up a pair of acoustic guitars to sing "America the Beautiful" and "Amazing Grace."

The program concluded with the the playing of "Taps" from a recording at Arlington National Cemetery, closing remarks by Commander Beauchamp and the retiring of the colors.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.