MASON CITY, Iowa – Monday was a day filled with patriotism, thanks and praise as communities across our area celebrated Memorial Day.
Elmwood St. Joseph Cemetery in Mason City was overflowing with area residents who spent their morning at a ceremony put on to show support for and celebrate service men and women.
Many veterans who were at the ceremony made a point of thanking those who came out, however it was the thanks they got in return from their service that reminded everyone what this day is all about.
Roger Hunt was one of the many veterans at the event, and was one of the many who believes that this day has lost it’s meaning over the years.
“Here is a very sacred holiday, that is not the holiday at all, but a day of remembrance and recollection,” Hunt says.
This is a message that Marine Corps and Army Reserve veteran and Mason City resident Gary Beenken knows all too well.
It’s a day of mixed emotions as he was one of the brave men to go overseas to defend the stars and stripes, but he knows that these ceremonies are an important part of keeping the message of Memorial Day alive.
“It always makes me think back of the day we returned and we got back to Mason City,” he says, “It was just overwhelming, that feeling of, you know such unity, we had everybody behind us.”
Bringing out the community to show support for veterans young and old is what ceremonies and events are all about, and even though ceremonies nationwide have concluded for the year, the message will remain the same; every day should be a day to remember.