A Day to Remember. A Heart of Gratitude. A Song for the Fallen.

Such was on the hearts of attendees at the Hartsburg American Legion Post 424 annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 27th.

Veterans Justin Reeder & Alan Volkart

Dotty Manns prepared foods for the post-ceremony gathering

Members and Sons of the Legion, Auxiliary, Boy Scouts of America Troop 4475 and 708 of Columbia, and Cub Scouts of America Pack 134 of Ashland led a march from the Legion Hall to the Friedens Cemetery, all walking to the beat of Post Commander Gunny Kline’s cadence call.

Upon arriving at the cemetery, volunteers placed American Flags and red poppies on the veteran graves.

Xander, Lauren, Alexia, and Clay of the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts volunteered to place red poppies

Shari, Leah, and Josie Bullard

Little Josie Bullard fixes the flowers atop a grave

Connie Barner lays red poppies

Joyce Sapp lays red poppies

A salute to the fallen

The red poppies symbolize bloodshed by those who gave all and became popularized by the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.

Lauren of Boy Scouts of America Troop 4475

Hartsburg resident Janet Beckmeyer led the crowd to sing a rendition of God Bless America, followed by a 21-gun salute by the rifle detail.

Mike Bauer, Jim Henley, Dustin Begemann, and Fred Brune of the rifle detail.

A 21-gun salute is the highest honor rendered. Originating in the 14th century, the custom stems from naval tradition, when a warship would signify its lack of hostile intent by firing its cannons out to sea until all ammunition was spent. The custom has changed over time and is used today as a national artillery salute to fallen soldiers.

In closing, the ceremonius bugle call “Taps” was played to signify a final “lights out” in remembrance of those no longer with us.

Debbie Berry, Brenda Reeder, Janet Beckmeyer, and Kim DeVorss

Hartsburg American Legion Post 424 Commander Gunny Kline

Tegan Sibit

Commander Gunny says that Hartsburg has held the annual ceremony for over 60 years now and welcomes the public to attend future events to support our veterans.