McLean Memorial Day pic

MCHS JROTC raises the American flag to half-staff during the McLean County VFW’s Memorial Day service at Calhoun Cemetery.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars, McLean County post 5415, held a Memorial Day Service at the Calhoun Cemetery Monday morning to recognize fallen soldiers and express gratitude to their families.

The VFW was joined by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Forrest’s-Orphans Camp, an Honor Guard and McLean County High School JROTC to honor fallen soldiers by raising the flag, performing a gun salute and with the firing of the cannon. Prayers were led by Pastor Richard Sams of Calhoun Baptist Church and Ken Berggren of Calhoun United Methodist Church.

“Today is just a little installment of our tremendous debt that we owe so many people,” said VFW post 5415 Commander Richard Crabtree.

Sams led the service speaking on the fallen soldiers’ ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms and rights of U.S. citizens, stating that freedom comes with a price and with great responsibility.

“Your freedom today can be found at the crosses at Arlington Cemetery. Your freedom can be found in the Washington Mall, among the statues of the GIs at the Korean War Memorial, at the names in the Vietnam Wall. Your freedom is etched into the bronze markers that are all throughout this cemetery and hundreds of cemeteries throughout this country,” Sams said. “With every right, there comes a responsibility … Our freedom and our rights were bought with a great sacrifice.”

The VFW are also accepting donations for the National Home in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, which aims to provide assistance for veterans and their families who are affected by the death of a soldier, unemployment, injuries and post-traumatic stress, according to the National Home website.

Crabtree said donations made to the home will be matched. He said anyone interested in donating may call Bruce Unland, commander of the Owensboro VFW Post 696 at 270-836-4216, or the McLean County Post 5415 at 270-570-0489.

Christie Netherton,, 270-691-7360

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