As always, Lanark Village celebrated Memorial Day with dignity and respect.
The day began with the flag retirement ceremony which has become a part of Camp Gordon Johnston American Legion Post 82 tradition. Dozens of flags of all sizes were committed to the flames.
Then the assembly moved to the front of the post for prayer and reflection.
Chuck Spicer commented, as the ceremony began, “There is no one here who served before Vietnam.”
Chaplain Barbara Cook shared a prayer with the assembled crowd, many of whom were veterans. She asked God to bless and protect everyone present as well as US armed force personnel everywhere, and for those who never returned from battle.
“Let us be bold and pray for peace in this chaotic world until the Lord appears again,” she said. “Let us not forget the ultimate sacrifices our loved ones, friends and strangers have done for each of us.”
Post Commander Jim Moran spoke on remembrance of those who served. “This day is sacred, with an almost visible presence of those who have gone before us,” he said. “We honor the memory of those who gave their lives in the service of our country, and of those others who have dropped their burdens by the wayside of life, and are gone to their eternal rest.
“May the ceremonies of today deepen our reverence for our departed friends and comrades. Let us renew our pledge of loyalty to our country, and to its flag,” said Moran. “Let us resolve by word and deed to emphasize the privilege and duty of patriotism.”
Carrabelle Mayor, wife of Adjutasnt Greg Kristofferson, recited “Your Flag and My Flag” by Wilber Nesbit and Frederic Ryder.
This Memorial Day was special for the Legionnaires, and for everyone in Lanark Village.
Thanks to Kristofferson, Post 82 has a newly refurbished 35-foot flagpole to display. It took a bit of doing to get it installed but the new addition to the post was welcomed with a ribbon cutting at the conclusion of the Memorial Day ceremony.
Kristofferson offered thanks to several individuals and businesses that helped make the new flagpole possible.
“A few months back I contacted The St. Joe Company to see if they would consider donating the flagpole that was sitting on property they own on the east side of Carrabelle next to the fire tower,” he said. “They agreed to the donation and with the help of several businesses and Post members the pole was successfully removed, refurbished, and installed in time for the annual Post 82 Memorial Day ceremony.
“On behalf of Post 82, I thank The St. Joe Company for their generous donation. In addition, I thank the following businesses and Post members for their generous donations of time and materials.
• John Burks, of John’s Sandblasting, who donated time and materials to sandblast the pole and get it ready for painting.
• Mike Marshall, of Marshall Marine, for helping to take the pole down and transporting it to his shop for refurbishing and painting. Mike donated time and materials for the painting project.
• George Emswiler, of G&H Concrete, who donated his time and materials to pour the base for the pole.
• Ernie Ingersoll for providing his man lift that was used to take the flagpole down from its original site and raise the pole at its new Post 82 home.
• And finally the members of the Post who helped remove the pole and erect it in its new location, who included Commander Jim Moran, 1st Vice Bobby Turner, 2nd Vice Robert Woodward, Executive Board Member Mike Marshall, Legionnaire Ernie Ingersoll and Kristofferson
Pictures and videos of the project from start to completion are available to see on the YouTube Channel; Carrabelle Florida – Sea for Yourself.