Veterans’ sacrifice honored

The Morgan City High School Army JROTC Rifle Drill Team served as the color guard in Monday’s third annual Memorial Day observance in Cypress Park. The event was hosted by the St. Mary Parish Chamber of Commerce and VFW Post 4222 of Morgan City to pay tribute to those in the military who have fallen while serving their country.
(The Daily Review Photo by Preston Gill)

Capt. David McClellan, U.S. Coast Guard Marine and Safety Unit commander, was the guest speaker for Morgan City’s annual Memorial Day observance.

He said if you read at a steady pace the rank along with first and last name of all veterans who died in war at a brisk rate you would have to read for 50 days. “This day is to remember those who died serving this country and to remember what they stood for,” McClellan said.
(The Daily Review Photo by Preston Gill)

Hanna Hatch and her mother, Heidi Hatch, present a wreath and flag to Sherman Whiting, quartermaster for VFW Post 4222 and District 3 VFW commander, who helped organize the third annual Morgan City Memorial Day observance in Cypress Park Monday. About 150 people attended the event and speeches.
(The Daily Review Photo by Preston Gill)

After a Memorial Day ceremony in Cypress Park honoring the nation’s warriors who have died while serving their country, the action moved under the cypress trees for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the planned Fallen Warriors Memorial. The memorial is scheduled to be dedicated on Veterans Day. One of the names on the memorial will be that of 1st Sgt. Michael Bordelon who was killed in Iraq in 2005. With shovels in hand, from left, are Bordelon’s father, Bruce Bordelon, and Fallen Warriors Memorial co-chairmen Terry Mayon and Marc Distefano, along with Morgan City Mayor Boo Grizzaffi.
(The Daily Review Photo by Preston Gill)

The Morgan City Memorial Day observance continues to grow as about 150 people attended the third annual event in Cypress Park Monday morning and were encouraged to remember a veteran and thank a veteran for all the sacrifices they make, especially those who have given their lives in service to their country.
Capt. David McClellan, U.S. Coast Guard Marine and Safety Unit commander, said according to his calculation, if you were to read the rank along with first and last name of all veterans who died in war at a brisk rate you would have to read for 50 days.
“This day is to remember those who died serving this country and to remember what they stood for,” McClellan said.
He had searched for ways to describe the sacrifice those heroes had made, but instead decided to use the words of others who eloquently made his point, he said.
First, he chose the words of Joshua Chamberlain, who he called a Gettysburg hero, to describe what a veteran undertakes as his duty.
“Veterans have renounced what are accounted pleasures, and cheerfully undertaken self denials, deprivation, toils, dangers, sickness, mutilation, lifelong hurt and losses, death itself, for some great good, dimly seen, but dearly held,” McClellan quoted.
McClellan said President Ronald Reagan had called freedom a fragile, precious gift. Quoting Reagan, he said, “Freedom … must endure and prosper. Freedom has a cost. It imposes a burden. … We owe this freedom of choice in action to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives so that we might be free.”
Marc Distefano, Fallen Warriors Memorial Project co-chairman, said Reagan had pointed out that those who have died in the armed forces most often died in the prime of their life. Rather than wise old men and seasoned warriors, they were often just boys, Reagan had said.
“‘They gave up two lives — the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands, fathers, grandfathers,’” Distefano quoted Regan as saying. “‘They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for our country and for us and all we can do is remember.’”
Distefano expressed appreciation of having Memorial Day observations resumed in Morgan City two years ago. He said there is an “obligation and duty to remember those who have fallen” and the observance helps people “remember those who may have been forgotten.”
Toward the conclusion of the ceremony, live butterflies contained in palm-sized boxes were released for the fallen, but never forgotten heroes.
After the program concluded many of the observers walked under the cypress trees a few hundred feet away from where the speeches were given for a ceremonial ground breaking to represent entering the construction stage of the Fallen Warriors Memorial Project.
Morgan City Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi said the memorial is meant to make sure the memory of these soldiers never disappears. The memorial will keep the memories alive and allow people to honor them every day of the year and not just on Memorial Day, he said.

By PRESTON GILL pgill@daily-review.com

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