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'Our country is in mourning, a veteran died today'

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Pictured: Speakers at the Memorial Day Observation included former US Marine Corps CWO5 John Cressey-Neely, American Legion Post 157 Commander Charlie Baker and Legion Post 157 Chaplain William Bowie.

Much-needed rain forced the Memorial Day Observance, held Monday, May 26, to relocate to American Legion Post 157 from the front lawn at the Bandera County Courthouse.
Although attendance was sparse, Post Commander Charlie Baker noted, "As long as one person shows up, (America's fallen veterans) will not be forgotten."
Guest speaker was John Cressey-Neely, who served as a Chief Warrant Officer 5 in the United States Marine Corps.
"We remember those who are no longer with us because they sacrificed their lives in defense of our freedom," he said. "These sacrifices have occurred throughout our nation's history.
"Many of the men lay beneath the thousands of crosses at Normandy American Cemetery. Others found peace at Arlington or in their hometown burial places. And, many, many more survived the war and raised their families under the peace and freedom that they and their fallen comrades fought so hard to achieve."
This country continues to lose American heroes nearly every day in Afghanistan and in military training accidents and missions around the world, Cressey-Neely said.
"That is why Memorial Day is so important. We honor the more than one million men and women who lost their lives defending America in wars from the Revolution to the Global War on Terrorism," he said, concluding, "Let us never lose focus of what Memorial Day means. It is not about beaches, picnics or auto races. It is a day to remember."
American Legion Post 157 Chaplin William Bowie offered a poem as a homage to the "2 percent who stood tall and said, "Here I am. Take me." A portion of the unattributed verse, titled "A Poem Worth Reading" went:
"He was just a common Veteran, And his ranks are growing thin, But his presence should remind us, We may need his likes again."
To read the entire poem and other tributes to America's veterans, visit www.al157tx.org and click on "Current News and Events" and "Chaplain's Corner."