The American Legion Post 16, Homer, American Legion Post 19, Ninilchik, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10221, Anchor Point, color guard stands at attention while Taps is played in honor of all servicemen and women who died in service to the United States of America. The veterans organizations hosted the Memorial Day service at Hickerson Memorial Cemetery May 31. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)

The American Legion Post 16, Homer, American Legion Post 19, Ninilchik, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10221, Anchor Point, color guard stands at attention while Taps is played in honor of all servicemen and women who died in service to the United States of America. The veterans organizations hosted the Memorial Day service at Hickerson Memorial Cemetery May 31. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)

Memorial Day services honor fallen heroes

2021 Memorial Day services honored and remembered the 1 million fallen service members of the U.S.

“We are here today to honor all of our fallen heroes,” said Eileen Faulkner, commander of the American Legion Post 16, Homer. “Fallujah and the Philippines, Khe Sanh and Kandahar, Beirut and Grenada. We honor American heroes from the American Revolution through the Global War on Terrorism and every battle in between. The location is unimportant. It is the hearts of these men and women that truly matters. It is the devotion within that led them to sacrifice their lives for the country we all love.”

On Memorial Day, veterans and community members gathered together to honor the servicemen and women who died while fighting for the United States of America. The American Legion Post 16, Homer, American Legion Post 19, Ninilchik, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10221, Anchor Point, held services at Hickerson Memorial Cemetery, Anchor Point Cemetery and Ninilichik Cemetery on May 31.

January 2021 saw the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the Gulf War. While the war ended shortly a month after, the parents of Army Spec. Cindy Beaudoin were forever changed as their daughter was killed in action. The veterans organizations in Homer, Anchor Point and Ninilichik honored Beaudoin during the Memorial Day ceremony for her dedication and heroism during her service as a National Guard medic.

“On Feb. 28, 1991, just hours after President George H.W. Bush declared a cease fire to end the Gulf War, Spec. Beaudoin was killed in action after her convoy struck a landmine. She was only 19,” Faulkner said. “Like many soldiers, she wrote a letter to be delivered to her parents in the event she would not return. She wrote ‘I did not come here to be a hero. I came here because my country needed me to be here. As much as I hate being so far away from home, I am proud to serve my country. I am here with thousands of other soldiers helping to bring down a very deranged tyrant … If I should die while helping to achieve this, then I did not die in vain.’ She did not die in vain, neither did any other American who we honor on Memorial Day.”

Faulkner reminded the guests that “War is hell,” and the veterans who fought and the service members who died for the United States should be honored and respected.

“That is why we are here today: to recall not just the memories of Cindy Beaudoin …, but to honor the sacrifices made by the 1 million heroes who died while defending this country since the American Revolution,” Faulkner explained.

In honor of the Gold Star families who have lost loved ones to war, Faulkner offered advice for continued support of their sacrifice, as well.

“Most of us will not truly understand the depths of their despair unless we have experienced it,” Faulkner said. “We can always offer support. We can wear the poppy. We can place flags and wreaths at their graves. We can donate to charities that provide for their families. And we can look at their surviving brothers- and sisters-in-arms and say thank you for your service.”

The service ended with the playing of “Taps” and the fallen soldier memorial of a rifle and helmet placed in the ground.

Guests at the ceremony were also invited to visit the VFW for a reception after the service.

To see the full Memorial Day photo gallery, visit facebook.com/homernews.

Reach Sarah Knapp at sarah.knapp@homernews.com

American Legion Post 16 Commander Eileen Faulkner served as the keynote speaker during the 2021 Memorial Day service held at Hickerson Memorial Cemetery on May 31. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
The American Legion Posts 16 and 19 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10221 color guards stand at attention during the 2021 Memorial Day service held at Hickerson Memorial Cemetery on May 31. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
A veteran salutes the fallen soldier memorial during the 2021 Memorial Day service held at Hickerson Memorial Cemetery on May 31. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Two veterans catch up at the 2021 Memorial Day service held at Hickerson Memorial Cemetery on May 31. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)

More in News

A diagram presented by Teresa Jacobson Gregory illustrates the proposed extension of the Beachcomber LLC gravel pit and the impact it may have on the surrounding state recreation area. The red markers indicate the current gravel mining area, and the orange represents the area the extension may allow for mining if approved. (Image courtesy of Teresa Jacobson Gregory)
KPB Assembly to consider gravel-pit ordinance revisions

Proposed gravel pit ordinance follows Superior Court ruling that planning commission can deny permits.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meets on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
School board works to highlight students’ voices

Within the first hour of the meeting students would have up to five minutes each to address the board about any issue

Furniture awaits use in a bedroom at a cold weather shelter set to open next month on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021 in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Half of beds at Nikiski shelter are occupied

The shelter opened at the end of December 2021

A group of community members gather together on Thursday, Jan. 6 at WKFL Park to protest the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on the one-year anniversary of the attack. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
South Peninsula residents turn out to ‘defend democracy’

Members of the Homer community and the Unitarian Universalists of Homer gathered… Continue reading

This image available under the Creative Commons license shows the outline of the state of Alaska filled with the pattern of the state flag. The state on Thursday reported a modest population growth between April 2020 and July 2021. It's the first time since 2016 the state has reported a population increase. (
State reports small population growth

Net migration still negative, but not as negative.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Health officials: Some monoclonal treatments widely ineffective against omicron

The new guidance comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

State Sen. Peter Micciche fields questions from constituents during a joint chamber luncheon on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022 at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
State Senate president lays out vision for upcoming session

Micciche seeks path forward on budget, looks to pass legislation on fishing permits, alcohol regulations

Snow covers the sign on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at the South Peninsula Hospital Bartlett Street COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinic in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Local COVID-19 alert rate quadruples

State alert level per 100,000 people now is above 1,100.

Most Read