Citizens of all ages gathered in downtown Oxford’s Centennial Park on Memorial Day to observe the solemn national holiday as a grateful community.
“If you take a look around the park, I bet you’re not more than 15 (or) 20 feet away from somebody (who) served this country,” said Vietnam veteran Rick Moorhead, commander of American Legion Post 108.
“But today is not about them. Today is about the ones (who) are not here to tell their stories.”
Memorial Day pays tribute to all the men and women who perished while serving in the United States military.
Oxford Village Police Chief Mike Solwold, who served as the guest speaker for this year’s ceremony, said the holiday is an opportunity to contemplate “the price of war” and honor “those who paid (it) in full.”
Solwold noted it’s important to remember that “our military is the best in the world.”
“They don’t fight for tyranny or oppression, they fight for freedom . . . When you see a member of the military, thank them for their service,” he said.
Moorhead said it’s the role of veterans groups – like the American Legion, AMVETS and Veterans of Foreign Wars – to remind folks that Memorial Day isn’t just a three-day weekend or the start of the “summer vacation season.”
It’s about setting aside a day to honor, celebrate and remember the servicepeople who “gave their lives in order for us to enjoy the blessings we sometimes take for granted.”