East Side of Summit County honors country’s fallen with Memorial Day ceremonies
Nearly 100 people attended the Coalville Memorial Day ceremony at noon on Monday in the face of an on-and-off rainstorm and a gusty wind rushing through the trees of the Coalville Cemetery.
The event, the last of a series of ceremonies on the east side of Summit County, was emceed by American Legion Post 93 member Albert Richins and included the playing of several patriotic songs, a bagpipe performance by Summit County Sheriff’s Department deputy Jared Vernon and the traditional 21-gun salute and playing of “Taps.”
The Legion post first hit Wanship at 8 a.m. on its trip across the county on Memorial Day, followed by stops in Hoytsville, Henefer, Echo, Upton and then, finally, Coalville.
In his speech, Richins emphasized the amount he has learned over his nine years of organizing the Memorial Day services.
“I’ve learned a whole lot about the sacrifice that soldiers made and people made … and I have grown to appreciate it a whole lot more,” he said in an interview.
One story he has come to know is that of the Winters family.
Byron Winters, a Hoytsville native, was drafted into the Army during World War I and was wounded in Germany near the end of the war. Winters’ son, Dean, enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War II and served in the Pacific theater, also exiting that war with combat wounds. Years later, in 1968, Dean Jr. left Vietnam with wounds sustained in Operation Hastings.
“In effect, they gave all they could,” Richins said in his speech.
Coalville mayor Trever Johnson said it is important to continue the annual commemoration to keep the memory of America’s fallen military service members alive for future generations.
“The American Legion brings a personal aspect to the history of those that have served and have fallen in this community,” Johnson said. “It’s no small sacrifice and it’s no small act of kindness really on the part of those who served. It’s the reason why we’re here today. … Events like this help keep that alive.”
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