Memorial Day at the Cameron Veterans Memorial
On Monday May 28, Memorial Day, the heat didn’t stop the people from coming out in Cameron to honor all those who served at the Cameron Veteran’s Memorial. The Cameron Municipal Band was on hand and played the National Anthem under the shade of a tree as Cameron Boy Scout Troop 87 presented the colors.
American Legion Post 33 Commander Allen Reed offered a greeting to those gathered and offered the opening prayer, thanking God for the faith and freedom we enjoy.
BJ Reed representing the Ladies of the American Legion Auxilary read the poem “In Flanders Field” In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
BJ Reed then went on to introduce Mayor Darlene Breckenridge. Breckenridge began her comments by reminding those assembled of the origins of Memorial Day. Breckenridge went on to recognize those in the assembled community who had served and thank them for their service, also taking a moment to recognize those family members of those who have served or are serving. Breckenridge said she had been approached by a gentleman recently who she should be proud of her community, according to Breckenridge the man told her,
“You should be proud of your community, this is a town that holds its Veterans with respect and commitment. It was very nice to hear,” Breckenridge said, “But in my heart I already knew it.”
“There are not words big enough, there’s not a hug strong enough, there’s not a smile wide enough, all we can offer is a thank you. You are our heroes, you are in our thoughts and our prayers for all that you’ve done. Thank you,” Breckenridge concluded.
Commander Reed went on to introduce the guest speaker, Chief Warrant Officer John C. Cayton, retired, whose biography is long and involves service in the Navy and Army Reserve. Cayton is also retired from a long career as the Chief Criminalist in Kansas City Crime Laboratory. Cayton also worked on the investigation into the remains of Jesse James. Cayton has also worked with the FBI and traveled the world lecturing on forensic sciences. Cayton and his wife have four married children, 16 grandchildren, and 14 great grand children.
Cayton opened his comments with a bible passage from Matthew 15:13 “There is no greater love than a man lay down his life for a friend.”
Cayton said he was 17 when he joined the Navy and went out on a ship. He said looking back a lot of those young men he served with looked like kids and yet they were operating sophisticated equipment. Cayton went on to speak with great pride about his grandchildren who are serving and said it is important to encourage our young people to serve, saying the military helps with discipline and focus.
Cayton thanked everyone for coming and thanked them for the support.
Members of the Cameron and District Pipeband played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes, followed by a 21 gun salute by the Zion Prepatory Academy JROTC and Taps played by the Cameron Municipal Band.