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Halstead Pays Tribute For Memorial Day

Posted 6/1/2017

THE rifle guard fires off a salute at Halstead Cemetery. THE rifle guard fires off a salute at Halstead Cemetery. HALSTEAD—Members of the Halstead community gathered together Monday morning to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice defending our nation. Short Memorial Day services were held at Pine Park and Halstead Cemetery in remembrance.

“We honor the memory of those who gave their lives in service to our country, and of those others who have dropped their burdens by the wayside of life and are gone to their eternal rest,” Larry Denno told those who were gathered. “May the ceremonies of today deepen our reverence for our departed friends and comrades.”

At Pine Park, veteran Gary Wright read the names of those listed on the memorial who lost their lives in service. Wright’s brother, Richard, is among those who were killed in combat in the Vietnam War.

“From this list it is a test that freedom is not free,” Wright said. “It comes with an ultimate price paid by those who died, and also contributing to our freedom are those who served their country.”

Father Jeffrey Fasching from Halstead Catholic Church prayed for those who have passed away.

“Look kindly upon all your servants who have gone before us, now freed from the bonds of mortality, and count them among your saints in Heaven,” he prayed.

At Halstead Cemetery, the speaker was Jennifer Watkins-Spire, a 1990 graduate of Halstead High School who served as an army medical specialist, administrative specialist and personnel specialist, where she was awarded the army accommodation medal and the army achievement medal. She was later commissioned as a second lieutenant in army nurses’ core.

Watkins-Spire praised these heroic men and women who responded to extraordinary circumstances to protect our nation.

“They rose to the nation’s call because they wanted to protect the nation which has given them and us so much,” she said. “We have awarded medals to many soldiers and added their names to monuments to honor them for their bravery, but nothing can ever replace the hole left behind by a fallen service member.”

The ceremonies at Pine Park and Halstead Cemetery both ended with a salute from the rifle guard and Halstead High School students Kayla Newman and Emma Caldwell playing Taps on the trumpet.