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Community Pays Respects During Memorial Day Program

LARRY WANAMAKER was the speaker at the 2011 Memorial Day Program held at the O'Neill Cemetery on Monday.

The O'Neill Memorial Day Program was held on Monday with a good patriotic crowd on hand to pay tribute to those who have served, are serving and those who have payed the ultimate price in serving our country.

The speaker for this years program was Larry Wanamaker. Wanamaker is the O'Neill Police Chief and had served in the U.S. Army for seven years.

"When I was approached by Arnold Hall and asked to speak at the Memorial Day Program I was very nervous and wondered what I would say that other people have not said before me. The answer to that is, I don't know.

I come from a line of veterans in my family to include my grandfather, my father and my two brothers. We all served in the military and are proud of what it stood for. Duty, honor and loyalty are just words to so many but mean much more to those who served. These are ideals that service in the military teaches a person.

Throughout history our great nation has stood for Liberty, honor and justice. Sometimes it looks as if these things do not exist, but they are just obscured, and it takes an extreme event for everyone to see that they are not. Our great nation was built on these principles, and it was carved out of nothing by men and women willing to put their lives on the line to achieve something bigger than any one person.

Freedom is a word we all say but only a few understand and even fewer truly feel. When I put on the uniform of a soldier, I got an idea of what it was like to truly stand for something greater than myself. The men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifices and fought for the very freedom we enjoy are true heroes. If not for their and others efforts we would not have the choices we live with every day. The saying is "freedom isn't free" and no truer words have been spoken.

We all gather together on Memorial Day to remember our family, friends and all those who have served in the armed forces for this great nation, remembering what they did to help shape the United States of America into the greatest country in the world," said Wanamaker.

The ceremony concluded with a prayer, a 21 gun salute and a performance of the battle hymn, Taps.

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