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Tributes to fallen heroes highlight Memorial Day 2019 observances

Volunteers hold the flag for Nashville VFW Post 8260 member Greg Dunkelberger (center) to raise during a ceremony at Lakeview Cemetery in Nashville Monday. (Photo by Taylor Owens) Rebecca Pierce Editor

Hundreds of people came together in communities across Barry County this past Memorial Day weekend to honor the sacrifices of the military men and women who served and died. “These fallen heroes represent the character of a nation that has a long history of patriotism and honor – a nation that has fought many battles to keep our country free,” said chaplain Roy Copeland of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4461.

That VFW Post participated in three events on Monday – the 65th annual Memorial Day service in the Clarksville Cemetery, the observance in the cemetery in Woodland and in Lakeside Cemetery in Lake Odessa. Lakewood High School band and flag team performed and the VFW post honor guard and Ladies Auxiliary provided support during the program.

The Clarksville program featured a song by Lance Corp. Arthur “Butch” Briseno, who was born and raised in Clarksville. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1966-69.

Briseno wrote the lyrics and Janet and Joni Michaud wrote the melody for “Freedom’s Call,’ which he sang while he accompanied himself on an acoustic guitar.

“They rest in peace forevermore on God’s eternal shore,” he sang. “For freedom we are thankful, now and forevermore.”

Traditions were observed at each commemoration with a wreath ceremony, a 21-gun salute, floral tributes and the playing of taps.

President Deb Aldrich of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary placed a white flower for courage and a red flower to symbolize everlasting remembrance.

In Woodland, Barry County Chief Judge William Doherty addressed the audience gathered at the cemetery.

“We stand here in the midst of patriots,” Doherty said. “…they were called to be part of something larger than themselves. And they rose to the occasion.”

In the audience, Joshua Campeau, 19, of Lake Odessa, listened. He stood in the sunshine in his U.S. Navy service dress whites. He said he had recently enlisted and will be deployed in about a week on the USS Ronald Reagan bound for Japan.

His mother, Michelle Campeau of Lake Odessa, expressed pride in her son. His father and his grandfather both served in the Navy, she said.

Clearly, they set an example for this young man.

Rev. Bruce Barker, the pastor from Faith Bible Baptist Church, referred to the example set by all those who have served the country when he gave the Memorial Day address in Lake Odessa.

He urged following that example of “service and sacrifice… for the cause of enriching the life we have for generations to come. …”

“The land of the free will only remain that way as long as it is the home of the brave.”

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