‘May God continue to watch over’

Published 8:00 am Friday, May 31, 2024

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They paid tribute to the fallen on Monday, remembering those who had given their lives. They spoke of David L. Brooks and John Conner, of Claude Douglas and Eddie Edwards, all of whom were killed in action during World War II. Willie Brooks and Samuel Boswell were also remembered, along with the other 17 Lunenburg residents who gave their lives during World War I. All in all, Monday’s ceremony, held at Lakeview Cemetery was designed to give the region a time to say goodbye.

“Our nation is the home of the free thanks to the sacrifices of the brave,” said Tommy Wright. He serves as the delegate for Virginia’s 50th District in the General Assembly. “Let’s remember those who have given the last full measure of devotion so we can remain free.”

Wright spoke in between tributes at Monday’s event, where members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapters laid wreaths and American flags at the graves of soldiers buried at Lakeview and Kenbridge cemeteries.

It was a short but solemn ceremony, one that echoed back to the beginnings of Memorial Day, back in the 1800s. Originally it was called Decoration Day, taken from the early tradition of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths and flags. Originally started on May 30, 1868, by proclamation of Gen. John A Logan, the tradition of paying tribute to America’s fallen soldiers has continued through the centuries. And it was a ceremony copied in cemeteries across Virginia. At Sailor’s Creek State Park, there was a living encampment throughout the weekend, giving residents an idea of how Union regiments operated during the Civil War. Over in Richmond, Gov. Glenn Youngkin laid a wreath at the Virginia War Memorial, while urging residents to do more than simply pay respect to how a soldier died.

“It’s not the death of our service members that we should remember,” Youngkin said, “but how they lived their lives.”