The cloudy, rainy Monday dawn gave way to a warm, sunny morning suited for a Memorial Day ceremony at Fort Calhoun Cemetery.

Larry Kusek, commander of Fort Atkinson American Legion Post 348, addressed the positive weather change to a sizable crowd standing there to remember their loved ones and military veterans buried in the cemetery.

The crowd placed flowers, wreaths, crosses or other remembrance artifacts on or near headstones throughout the grounds before standing for the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the national anthem.

5.31.19MemorialDayFortCalhoun(2).JPG

Members of the Combat Vets Association rode their motorcycles to the Fort Calhoun Cemetery for the Memorial Day ceremony, and listened to U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Julie Emmons (podium) deliver her keynote address.

U.S., Nebraska and military branch flags fluttered in a breeze as Abiding Faith Baptist Church Pastor Chris Eastman and Fr. Stephen Gutgsell of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church stood behind crosses signifying American wars and the names of those buried in the cemetery who served in them, leading those in attendance in prayer.

Fort Calhoun Legion Auxiliary junior members Macie and Ellie Collins covered a chair observing prisoners of war and those missing in action and placed a memorial wreath next to it.

Keynote speaker, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Julie (Burmeister) Emmons, a Fort Calhoun High School graduate, echoed many Legion members and veterans who spoke before her.

5.31.19MemorialDayFortCalhoun(3).JPG

Adam Duros, a Fort Calhoun High School graduate, plays TAPS before the close of the Fort Calhoun Memorial Day Cememony.

Emmons, who served multiple deployments in the 2000s, relayed stories about soldiers who risked, and gave, their lives serving their country. She spoke of American unity regardless of race, gender or any other personal characteristic and the military’s relationship with that unity.

Memorial Day, she said, has been a day throughout many years to remember those who gave their lives to uphold the ideals of their country.

"Today, in this place, we do that again," she said.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.