Servicemen honored and remembered
By Robin Scott
Each year an area pastor speaks to those who gather in remembrance of fallen service members. This year Rev. Steve Patterson officiated. He spoke of how “Memories fade as age takes over, but the one thing we must never forget is that our way of life is kept safe by those who fight for freedom.” Sadly many who fight to let freedom ring die while serving. Rev. Patterson spoke of how in times like that experience today, there is a constant reminder as men and women are in battle each day and no one should ever forget what they give up. Those who enjoy freedom because of those who go off to fight cannot fail to remember the brave ones who have not forgotten those they leave behind. Remember not only the fallen, but also those who show up everyday under extreme conditions to fight for freedom.
Bob Langhorne acted as Master of Ceremonies. Langhorne’s opening remarks included noting that Thanksgiving is a day to say thank you to God for all that we have, and Memorial Day is a day to say thank you to fallen service members who gave their lives so that we may enjoy what we have. Shannon Hass, wife of City Council member Phillip, sang “Remember Me.” Members of the XIT Rangers provided the color guard, which included a horse with the empty saddle, symbolic of fallen soldiers and sailors. XIT Rangers included Bill Coots, Dick Knight, Jason Wright, Steven Mimmick, Michael Mimmick, Hugh Stanley, John Mimmick, Jack Payne, and Sam Garrett.
The annual Memorial Day Service is made possible each year by the efforts of the Parks and Cemeteries Board, and especially Phillip Hass who takes a special interest in the event each year. With the help of David Young, who works for the City of Dalhart, the Gazebo and grounds were prepared for the service. Young is also a member of Dalhart’s volunteer fire department.
This year’s service was well received and many were left standing. Several people brought lawn chairs and many sat underneath the shade of a tree to enjoy the brief service. The crowd grew silent as “Taps” was played, the fallen service members’ theme, that when heard conjures up feelings of reverence from within even those who have not served in the United States Military.
The more than two hundred guests who came to celebrate the fallen soldiers and sailors included Capt. Chaplain Doug Brown, USN Retired and Chief Storekeeper Glendon Pyle, USN Retired. Both retired servicemen wore their dress uniforms as a show of respect. Many former soldiers and sailors of every generation were present; some with memories of lost comrades and some with memories of lost brothers, sons, and fathers. Even those who have not been personally affected by the loss of a loved one were in attendance to show their appreciation for a debt that may never be repaid; a debt that may only be honored. One very simple way to honor that debt is to bow a head and give thanks to those whose courage cannot even be imagined, except perhaps by the lucky few who live on to tell the story of those who died.