Veterans from all over the Texoma region were honored in local ceremonies taking place on Memorial Day Monday.
In Sherman, there was a joint wreath ceremony put on by the Edmund Terrell Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Martha Jefferson Randolph Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. The event took place at the veterans memorial in Fairview Park.
Retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. T.L. Holden addressed the crowd with a history of Memorial Day services around the nation along with stories of soldiers who lost their lives in battle. Holden told the story of how the end of the Civil War resulted in the creation of the first national cemeteries.
“I can’t begin to comprehend the moment you send your loved one off to war,” Holder said. “You watch them disappear out of sight knowing it may very well be the last time you see them or hug them. This has been a stark reality for many families in the country. So many have received telegrams and middle of the night phone calls and the chaplain standing at the front door, to tell them their loved one has been killed. It is all too easy for those who never saw those losses to miss the holes that were left in those families and communities.”
DAR Regent Sarah Beaver said honoring veterans is important.
“We are holding a memorial event to honor our fallen soldiers from every conflict from the Revolution until now,” Beaver said. “Our motto is ‘God, home and country.’ We’re here today to honor America’s heroes.”
The ceremony started with the handing out of a special commemorative lapel pin to Vietnam veterans.
Over in Denison, the Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Memorial Day Parade where more than 100 people and 26 floats signed up for the parade.
Denison Area Chamber of Commerce President Diana Theall said it was a great turnout. She said having it earlier in the day had a very positive impact on participation. Theall said she believes it is important to the veterans to see people in their communities showing their support.
“We don’t just party on Memorial Day, we take the time to thank the veterans for what they do for us,” Theall said. “The Memorial Day parade and Veteran’s Day parade are two of my favorites. If we lose sight of the sacrifices that were made for our freedom, we lose who we are as Americans. We need to remember what these people did for us. We are saying ‘thank you’ to everyone who helps keep us safe. It means a lot to the families.”
Theall said she was especially thankful for the different Shriner’s Hospital floats. She said there were close to 100 entrants in the parade representing that single organization.
Sherman residents Deborah Barrax and Jerry Barrax they chose to check out the Denison parade because they enjoy the downtown atmosphere in the city.
“For me, it is very important to remember,” Deborah Barrax said of Memorial Day. “I think too many people are forgetting. It is important for me to demonstrate in some way I acknowledge the importance of what these men and women did. We can never forget that.”
Jerry Barrax said they like to do something on Memorial Day to recognize the holiday for what it was designed for.
“It’s not just a picnic and party holiday,” Jerry Barrax said. “One of the most moving services we’ve ever been to was at a cemetery in Lexington, Kentucky, where we used to live. We wanted to do something appropriate (Monday). We bought a Sunday paper to see what was going on and saw the ad for the parade. We always like events in downtown Denison because it has a nice community atmosphere. It is very festive and very cordial. We thought that would be a good way to start our holiday.”