By Crystal Howerton
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf."
The quote by the English author and essayist George Orwell was read by guest speaker Senator Wes Shoemyer at the Memorial Day Service held on the Knox County Courthouse lawn. While some gathered with friends and family for a much-needed vacation and to celebrate the beginning of summer, well over one hundred people assembled to honor those who have fallen in service to our country.
Adjutant Ed Anderson of the Cyril A. Graham Post 261 welcomed those congregated, followed by the invocation given by Rev. Maynard Blackwood of the First Christian Church of Edina and the Pledge of Allegiance by Knox County Presiding Commissioner L.P. (Pete) Mayfield.
Senator Shoemyer gave his address saying, "America has a history of fighting to protect its freedom. It is startling to think how many conflicts our country has been involved in a mere 231 years since it began." He touched briefly on each of the wars and conflicts that our country has been engaged in. "Our forefathers thought that believing in something meant being willing to die for it."
"You are here today because you recognized the value of courage and selflessness. You are also here today because you are proud of what our military men and women are willing to give up for our safety. Many people celebrate Memorial Day as the beginning of summer. Picnics and barbecues are staples of the summertime. As we enjoy this season, let’s remember those who have fought to make it possible for us to celebrate."
Senator Shoemyer ended his address with a moment of silence to acknowledge those who had given the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be here today.
Then, memorials were presented by the VFW Post 4822 Ladies Auxiliary, Cyril A. Graham American Legion Post 261, Cyril A. Graham Auxiliary Unit 261, Knox City American Legion Post 358 and the Firing Squad and Buglers.
Following the Benediction given by Rev. Bryan Thiessen of the Edina Assembly of God Church, the group was invited to partake of refreshments provided by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary and the American Legion Auxiliary.
Cyril A. Graham American Legion Post No. 261 of Edina elected officers for 2007-2008 at a meeting on Memorial Day, May 28th. Elected were: Commander Bobbie Green, First Vice-Commander Bobby Glasgow, Second Vice-Commander Lawrence Mitchell, Sergeant-at-Arms Ralph Johnston, Adjutant/Finance Officer Ed Anderson, Service Officer Charley Hamlin, Chaplain Leslie Karhoff and Historian Harry Holman. These men also serve as corporate officers and on the board of directors. Members also voted to spend funds from the reserve account to repair the roof to the Hall. Two bids were received and costs to seal the remainder of the roof will be solicited. Annual dues were set at $30. The Post was named for the first Knox County soldier to die in World War I and was the first post in the county, being chartered in 1919.