The Nation's Heroes inspired the United Veterans Organization of Lehighton to present Memorial Day services throughout the Lehighton area this past weekend.
During the hot and sunny two days of services, music, salutes and speeches were heard in outlying townships on Sunday and Monday before the main services were held just before noon at the Lehighton Cemetery on Memorial Day.
The Boys and Girls Band and Mens Band shared the responsibility of provide the inspiring music in the townships and joined forces as they marched through Lehighton and played for the main services.
At the Lehighton Cemetery the combined band provided a backdrop of patriotic music for the flags ceremony and inspiring and solemn speeches that were provided by Carbon County Judge Steve Serfass and Lehighton Mayor Donald Rehrig.
Harry Wynn III, VFW Past Post Commander, directed the West Group programs and the services at the main cemetery, while Arthur Dietz, American Legion Post Commander, directed the East Group programs.
On Memorial Day, Wynn welcomed the large crowd attending the services at the Lehighton Cemetery and said that he was pleased to be using new sound equipment that helped everyone hear the services better.
James Wentz, UVO chaplain, provided the invocation and benediction.
Mayor Rehrig said, "We dedicate the services today to the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Fighting is necessary to attain the prize of freedom."
Mayor Rehrig said that only fools would forget the deaths of real men who died for freedom.
"We have to look to the future," he added. "The cost remains high, but we have to be willing to pay the price."
Judge Serfass said, "Those brave men and women left behind families and dear friends to save America in her time of need. He said the Bible teaches us that there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for his fellow man.
"That is exactly what these heroes have done," said Judge Serfass. "Most of them were young when they died in service so they gave up two lives - the lives they were living and the lives they would have lived."
Judge Serfass explained that when they died, every one of them gave up the chance to be a husband or wife, to become a father or mother, or grandfather or grandmother. They gave up everything for our country."
He said there will always be empty chairs at the family tables and Little League bleachers because of their deaths.
"Today we remember their sacrifice and reflect on the ideals of these service men and women who died doing their duty," he added. "We are here today, Memorial Day 2010 to honor their sacrifice."
Judge Serfass concluded with, "Let us all pledge today to be always thankful to these brave Americans who lived and gave their lives; to honor their heroic sacrifice; to always grateful for the freedom they have secured for us; to always be proud and respectful of their valor and to always remember that liberty has been provided with their blood."