A sizeable crowd joined the American Legion Post 55 at Mt. Olivet Cemetery for the Memorial Day service honoring the soldiers that gave their lives for this country.

Graves all over the cemetery were adorned with flags, including the memorial marker of Ernest Clifford Sexton, a World War I hero from Buena Vista. In addition to Legion members reading orders and speeches and presenting a three-volley salute, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 55 members read poetry including “In Flanders Fields,” and Boy Scouts Troop 67 and Cub Scouts Pack 72 paid respects to Sexton’s memorial.

“I think that some people think of Memorial Day as a time to honor the veterans who served,” said Boy Scouts member Jacob Young. “That’s Veteran’s Day. I feel that Memorial Day is to honor the fallen. The people who’ve served in all of our wars, I think that we should definitely pay our respects. If you see a flag flying, take a second to just think about everybody who might have fought and died to make you free.”

Though clouds loomed and a chill wind blew now and then, the weather held out until the very end of the half-hour service as the public was invited to the Legion’s Memorial Day cookout.

“The turnout was awesome, and we do so much appreciate the community turning out like they do for this,” stated Jan Quick, American Legion commander. “It’s just a privilege and an honor for all of us, the VFW and the American Legion and the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, to be able to do this every year here at Cliff Sexton’s memorial.”

For many in the crowd, the feeling is mutual, especially when those remembered and honored included family and friends.

“It’s a great service,” said local Shaun Christiansen after his first time attending. “It’s a good day to reflect on my friends that I’ve lost.”

“Three of my grandpas have fought in a war,” said returning local Hailee Sarr. “I appreciate everyone who comes and supports. It’s really special to honor people.”

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