Kenai residents take a moment to honor fallen veterans during the Memorial Day ceremony at the Kenai Cemetery on May 25, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai residents take a moment to honor fallen veterans during the Memorial Day ceremony at the Kenai Cemetery on May 25, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Remembering fallen comrades

Community honors veterans on Memorial Day

On a sunny Memorial Day morning, a few dozen residents gathered at the Kenai Cemetery with members of the American Legion Post 20 and the VFW Post 10046 to celebrate and honor America’s fallen soldiers.

The event started with the presentation of colors by the Color Guard of the VFW, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

VFW member Greg Fite spoke about the meaning of Memorial Day, as well as its history.

Memorial Day was first celebrated in the years following the Civil War and was made an official federal holiday in 1971.

“Comrades, this day is sacred,” Fite said. “With the almost visible presence of those who have gone before us, we honor the memory of those who gave their lives in the service of our country.

“And of those others who have dropped their burdens by the wayside of life and are gone to their eternal rest, may the ceremonies of today deepen our reverence for our departed friends and comrades. Let us renew our pledge of loyalty to our country and flag. Let us resolve by word and deed to emphasize the privilege and duty of patriotism.”

Fite’s speech was followed by a prayer and a reading of the poem “In Flanders Field,” written by Canadian physician and Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae during World War I.

To end the ceremony, members of the VFW performed a 21-gun salute for their fallen comrades.

Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel takes a poppy made by volunteers during the Memorial Day ceremony at the Kenai Cemetery on May 25, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel takes a poppy made by volunteers during the Memorial Day ceremony at the Kenai Cemetery on May 25, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Mike Meredith and Greg Fite, members of the Kenai Post of the VFW, prepare to hold a Memorial Day ceremony at the Kenai Cemetery on May 25, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Mike Meredith and Greg Fite, members of the Kenai Post of the VFW, prepare to hold a Memorial Day ceremony at the Kenai Cemetery on May 25, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

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