Despite rain, Memorial Day ceremony moves forward in Newton

Former Post Commander Paul Sanford gives an address at the Memorial Day ceremony held at the American Legion on Monday. Heavy rains forced the event indoors.

By Adam Strunk

Wet weather moved the Newton Memorial Day observance from Greenwood Cemetery, indoors to the American Legion Post at 400 S. Spencer.

A crowd of about 40 attended the in-person event meant to pay tribute to America’s fallen war dead. Former legion post commander Paul Sanford gave the address for the event.

“We honor American heroes from the American Revolution to the global War on Terror,” he said.

Sanford centered his speech on the death of Army Specialist Cindy Beaudoin, who died in the Gulf War when her convoy was attacked seven hours after a ceasefire had been declared.

He talked about Beaudoin choosing active duty despite having scoliosis because she wanted to serve her country and not leave her friends go to war without her.
“Cindy did not die in vain,” he said adding that no American honored on Memorial Day has died in vain.

“We should remember that the decision to go to war is that of policymakers, not of veterans,” he said.

Sanford said we should not only remember American heroes, but examine the country and consider the policymakers we choose.  He said those policymakers should consider the high cost in lives of war.

“War often is not the best policy, but the heroes wars produce are often the best Americans,” he said

During the event, participants took part in the benediction, as well as a wreath presentation and the singing of “God Bless America.”

It lacked the usual background of Greenwood Cemetery, with its memorials and rows of flags, but the crowd was no less earnest in their observance as in years past.

“We don’t have a thing to do to control the weather, Sanford said. “We appreciate those who were able to come out here today.”

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