Memorial Day ceremony is on, and extra meaningful this year

27 May

There will be no Memorial Day Parade this year in the Village of Webster, but the annual Remembrance Ceremony at Webster Rural Cemetery will still take place.

It too, however, will be a little different, thanks to COVID. A recent post from Webster Online explained what the socially distant ceremony is going to look like:

According to the American Legion Cottreall-Warner Post #942 … there will be no crosses and placing of flags and flowers by the Scouts and youth. Attendees will be asked to spread out on the grassy area, as opposed to congregating by the fence (as they have in the past). Attendees will also be expected to wear masks and social distance.

Instead of refreshments at the Elks Club following the service, Legion family and other military participants are invited to the Post Home (818 Ridge Road, Webster) for hots and soft drinks.

There will be some very meaningful additions to this year’s ceremony, however.

Six stately, 18-foot flagpoles have recently been erected at the cemetery, thanks to the efforts of Eagle Scout candidate Brennan Gallatin and a dozen or so Scout and parent helpers. 

The new poles stand in a proud semi-circle several feet from the American flag which has long anchored the memorial on the cemetery’s front lawn. They fly flags representing the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Space Force.

When Brennan needed an idea for his Eagle Scout project, doing something at the cemetery seemed perfect. “We (Scouts) go there every Memorial Day,” he said. “That area hadn’t seen a lot of change in a while.”

Completing the project before the Remembrance Ceremony was important, he added, “So the community can see it and it makes (the cemetery) look nice for the ceremony.” He and his crew worked for several hours last Saturday to make sure that would happen.

“The project was great to do,” Brennan said. “Especially when it was done, it was pretty cool to see it.” 

Honoring Webster Thomas grad Rex Daniels

In addition to the new flagpoles, this year’s ceremony will be extra meaningful in another way.

On April 16, an American flag was flown over Capitol Hill in honor of Rex Daniels, a 1968 R.L. Thomas grad who was KIA in Vietnam on that day in 1971, exactly 50 years earlier. That flag has made its way to Webster and will be flown during the Memorial Day ceremony. 

Webster’s Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony is scheduled for Monday May 31 at 10 a.m. at Webster Rural Cemetery, 1087 Ridge Rd., just west of Jackson Rd.

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