This Memorial Day, the Virl “Pa” Haga VFW Post 10221 honored those veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
VFW post and auxiliary members, along with members of the community, performed services including a color guard and an honor guard at Hickerson Memorial Cemetery, the Anchor Point Kallman Cemetery and Ninilchik’s American Legion Cemetery on Monday.
Post members and volunteers conducted cemetery cleanups during the prior weekend in preparation for the memorial services. During the cleanup, they also placed American flags at each of the graves belonging to a fallen service member.
Post 10221 is the only VFW in the state to perform honor guard services each Memorial Day, according to Post Cmdr. Chuck Collins.
A post member opened the ceremony at the Anchor Point cemetery with a prayer.
“We ask for healing for families of lost loved ones, protection over the military members, and to help the rest of us make sure that Memorial Day is more than once a year, but a continual act of gratitude,” he said.
Collins gave a speech to those gathered in remembrance of and gratitude for the fallen.
“While today is set aside to remember them for their service, let’s not forget to honor them according to their service for our country, and to be grateful that they did so,” he said.
Collins also spoke in honor of the family members of fallen veterans.
“Today I would like us to honor and appreciate … the sacrifices that not only [our veterans] made, but their families made as well to support and serve our country,” he said. “Let us not forget that when we send warriors around the world; it is not just them that are sacrificing. It is also those around them: the mothers, the fathers, the brothers, sisters, wives, husbands and children.”