Memorial Day ceremonies honor fallen heroes

By Sam Aselstine
Times Editor

Mother Nature smiled on Monticello on Monday as the area and its Memorial Day ceremonies were rain-free under mostly sunny skies – no small feat considering the amount of rain that fell during a soggy holiday weekend.

The annual events to honor the men and women who lost their lives fighting to protect our freedoms while serving their country began in customary fashion, with a 9:30 a.m. parade down Third Street, from Walnut to Elm Street, site of American Legion Post 260. The ceremony then moved to Riverside Cemetery, where the Legion Rifle Brigade marched in to start the ceremony.

Monticello Public Schools played music, Art Duran of the Legion played Taps and a talk was given by longtime legion member Bill Stein.

Stein relayed some of the more impressive Memorial Day tributes he’s witnessed, several of them in Washington, D.C. Stein mentioned seeing the gravesites of John and Robert Kennedy, along with that of Audie Murphy, the most decorated and famous soldier in U.S. history, at Arlington National Cemetery. Stein talked about the Tom Hanks movie, Saving Private Ryan