North Summit crowd pays tribute to its fallen soldiers
Attendees and members of American Legion Post 93 stood their ground as thunder rumbled in the background and rain clouds hovered above the Coalville Cemetery on Monday during a Memorial Day observance.
More than 100 people, including veterans and their families, gathered to remember the sacrifice of those who perished during combat while serving their country. On Monday, members of the American Legion traveled to cemeteries in Wanship, Echo, Upton, Henefer, Hoytsville and Coalville to honor veterans who were buried there. The service culminated in Coalville.
Three World War I veterans were honored, including Leroy Benson, Post 93’s namesake, as part of an ongoing effort by the members of Coalville’s Legion post to recognize local veterans who were killed in action.
Vicki Lucas, an eight-year veteran of the Air Force and Monday’s keynote speaker, recounted the lives of the three soldiers, adding that 107 men from North Summit actually served during World War I. Six were killed in action. Other ceremonies have paid tribute to soldiers who died in the Vietnam War, Korean War and World War II.
“To help us appreciate the peaceful circumstances and free country we live in today, I want to remember and review a few facts about the conditions 100 years ago,” Lucas said during the service. “The world was in turmoil and members of our military were faced with conditions and weapons they had never encountered before.”
Lucas discussed the death toll inflicted by the war and the new technology soldiers encountered while fighting on foreign soil.
“It was the first time chemical weapons were used in warfare, and it was the first time in history battle wounds accounted for more deaths than disease,” she said.
White doves were released to remember those who have died and “Amazing Grace” and “Going Home” were played on the bagpipes. Members of Post 93 fired three volleys over the graves of fallen soldiers while another member played “Taps.”
Nathaniel Davenport then sang the anthems of each of the five branches of service — Navy, Marines, Army, Coast Guard and Air Force — and encouraged those who served in each branch to stand. The crowd sang along to the songs in honor of their own service or that of a relative’s and everyone joined in the finale, “God Bless America.”
Moments after the ceremony concluded, a light rain began to fall on the crowd. Several escaped to their cars, while others joined members of Post 93 and their families for hot dogs and refreshments.
“This was all done to honor all of our veterans and to pay tribute to the brave men and women and their honorable and faithful service,” Lucas said.
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