Members of the Johnsburg Central School Marching Band and Flag Corps march in the Memorial Day Parade Monday, May 27 in North Creek.
During the Memorial Day ceremony here Monday, May 27, American Legion Post 629 Commander Terry Waterston and Pastor Terry Mosholder, who heads the Schroon Lake Community Church and will soon lead the North Creek United Methodist Church, spoke of the importance of remembering both the sacrifices of veterans and the needs of those who are returning home.
Waterston, who joined the Marine Corps in 1954, opened by noting, “Well, it’s not raining or snowing and even more importantly there are no blackflies.”
She spoke about how it is our duty to keep the “memory in Memorial Day.” She said that while we are enjoying the parades and other celebrations, we should remember the veterans whose sacrifices.
“As we cherish the men and women who came before, we are reminded to do everything within our power to support our active and retired soldiers, sailors, air men, Marines, and Coast Guard men,” she added.
“Good Morning, North Creek!” Mosholder exclaimed as he took the podium. A Vietnam combat veteran who served in the Marine Corps, he graduated from Pittsburgh University in 1987 and Wesley Theological Seminary in 1991. After being ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1991, he has served in churches in New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He will be sharing a two-point charge with the North Creek United Methodist Church beginning this July.
“Scripture tells us there is no greater love than laying down one’s own life to save someone else’s,” he said.
Many years before, Mosholder had struggled with feelings of anger and doubt when he saw the name of a close friend on The Wall memorial in Washington, D.C.
“Was it worth it? Does one life, one sacrifice make a difference? I asked myself these questions,” he said. “It was only when I took the focus off of his death and put it on his gift, his sacrifice, that I realized that my friend wasn’t just one small wave in the ocean, he was a part of the whole ocean, and that every wave makes a difference, just like each life — each sacrifice — makes a difference,” Mosholder said.
While he was reflecting on some way to illustrate part of what he wanted to share with the audience, Mosholder said he remembered a unique feature of the B-17 and B-29 Bombers used in WWII. As the planes approach their target, the pilots would flip a switch and turn over control of the plane to the bombardier who would make the necessary adjustments before dropping their ordinance. Once this was accomplished, the bombardier would shout, “Bombs away!” signaling to the pilot that the mission was complete and that it was now the pilot’s turn to take back control of the plane and return them safely home.
Civilians, like the pilots, entrust our serviceman and women with the responsibility of defending our freedom and security. Our servicemen and women, like the bombardiers, take responsibility for completing the mission. Moshholder said that once our men and women in uniform complete their mission, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that they come home safely, just as it is the pilot’s responsibility to bring the bombardier home once he hears “Bombs away!”
“We need to make sure that our veterans return to the dignity of a home, of employment, and of the health benefits they were promised when they signed on for the mission,” he concluded.
After the ceremonial laying of the wreath, Waterston paid tribute to Legionnaires who had passed away since last year by announcing each member’s name followed by ringing the memorial bell.
Many groups participated in the parade and service. The Johnsburg Central School (JCS) Marching Band along with the flag corps were led by Boy Scout Troop 36, the Cub Scouts, and Girl Scout Brownies from the school to the memorial.
Carolyn Bischoff sang the national anthem. Jonathan DeLappa directed the band; Mary Leach, the flag corps. The Rev. Ron Allen, Legion Post chaplain, gave the invocation and benediction. JCS Marching Band members, Jonathan Sears and Montana Berg performed “Taps.” After the service, people were invited to gather at the North Creek Volunteer Fire Company, where refreshments were provided.