(5/26) Four generations of John Cutshall’s family lined his front porch Sunday afternoon as a large American flag waved in the breeze. Four generations of family members spread out along the porch on Main Street in Woodsboro to take in the town’s annual Memorial Day parade. Across the street, at his sister’s house, a nearly equal-sized
crowd cheered on the fire trucks, tractors, student groups, politicians and, most importantly, the veterans.
"I think it’s great, the amount of people who come out," said Mary Cutshall, who lives just outside the town. "Everybody knows everybody, and it’s a great weekend to get together,"
She’s come to the parade for as long as she can remember.
This year, the parade took a little extra time to make it through town because of additional election floats, said Michael Strausbough, of the Glen W. Eyler Post 282 of the American Legion, which holds the parade along with a memorial service.
After the parade wound its way to the hilltop post, Strausbough thanked everyone for attending the event aimed at recognizing the sacrifices of service members and their families.
The memorial service this year focused on military prisoners of war and those missing in action.
"There are many who have served and those currently serving in the military who are ever-mindful that the sweetness of enduring peace has always been tainted by the bitterness of personal sacrifice," Strausbough read. "We are compelled to never forget that while we enjoy our daily pleasures, there are many others who have endured and may
still be enduring the agonies of pain, deprivation or internment."
The U.S. Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office lists 83,281 service members unaccounted for from past conflicts, the majority from WWII. There are 7,883 service members unaccounted for from the Korean War, 126 from the Cold War, 1,642 from the Vietnam War, and six from Iraq and other conflicts.
Inside the post, a table was set to call attention to those military personnel. The table was set with a white tablecloth to symbolize purity, a red rose to signify blood they may have shed on behalf of their country, and a yellow ribbon was tied around the vase to honor the families that await their return. On the plate, salt was sprinkled
to depict their tears, and a slice of lemon was to remind visitors of their bitter fate, Strausbough said.
"They are unable to be with their loved ones and families tonight, so we join together to pay humble tribute to them and bear witness for their continued absence," he said.
"Let us remember and never forget their sacrifices," Strausbough said.
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