5.31 News and Views

Tradition! That brings to mind so many memories. Having just returned, this Memorial Day, from the Niobrara County Fairgrounds for what is for me a “tradition,” I feel it so important to maintain the tradition of attending the community gatherings to remember on the designated day to honor those gave their lives in times of conflict to keep America free. When I was a teenager in the Lusk High School band, we marched to the Lusk Cemetery, wearing 100% wool red and white uniforms, behind the American Legion members of the Lusk Post #4 in their military uniforms, who carried the beautiful flag, followed by the Boy Scouts, in uniform, in the parade to the cemetery. The program included the recitation of all the veterans no longer living, from the Spanish War to the present time. Over the years, the list has grown so long, it now only includes those who have died in the past year.

Then, we stood out in the hot sun, playing patriotic marches, with an occasional band member collapsing from standing at attention too long, no places to sit, etc. As years went by with weather changing from too hot to sometimes rainy and no place to sit, especially for the aging population who were so faithful in coming “back home to Lusk” for the time of remembrance, the program was moved to the fairgrounds. This year, the program began with a Welcome by Commander Ed Tirado, of VFW Post #3511 of Lusk. It then was followed by Presentations by the Lusk Does and the Lusk Elks Lodge. Past Lusk Mayor Mark Lohr played keyboard, supported by trumpet music, by Johnny Barrett (former Lusk resident, now of Cheyenne) for singing of the National Anthem and “America the Beautiful.” Lusk Mayor Doug Lytle recited the poem “Flanders Field” and Carmen Shane laid the wreath of remembrance. Commander Tirado gave out several certificates of recognition, followed by City Councilman Adam Dickson who shared a Memorial Day address followed by the benediction. Buddy poppies had been distributed by the American Legion Auxiliary Unit #1 of Van Tassell. We need to remember the real purpose of Memorial Day!!