June 26, 2016

Partly sunny

Brunswick speakers recognize ‘keepers of this nation’s liberty’

Andrew Harner
The Gazette

BRUNSWICK — Before a parade from Visintainer Middle School to the Westview Cemetery shut down a section of Pearl Road on Monday morning, several figures from the area gave their thoughts on Memorial Day.

Brunswick Police Chief Carl DeForest drew comparisons between veterans and people with two other special titles.

“Twenty-two days ago, Americans gathered to celebrate Mother’s Day. Twenty days from now, they’ll gather to celebrate Father’s Day,” he said. “Both those days are very, very important to our people.

Members of the Brunswick Veterans of Foreign Wars and Color Guard return to Visintainer Middle School for the closing ceremony Monday. (Andrew Harner / Gazette)

“However, today our nation’s people will gather to celebrate another special group of people; those people who surrendered their lives for our freedom.”

DeForest, who is a veteran, continued by reminding people that those who have lost their lives serving this country are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers and sons and daughters. He said their sacrifice for freedom is what should be honored and remembered.

American Legion Post 234 Commander Jack Schira, who is also campaigning for the 69th District Ohio House seat as a Democrat, said he was proud to address the city’s residents.

“My bottom line on this day is, as a veteran, there is no place I would rather be than here in the city of Brunswick for the Memorial Day ceremonies,” he said. “You folks are fantastic.”

He also expressed his personal feelings about Memorial Day.

“It gives me a chance to talk in my prayers to all my friends who have died and say ‘God bless you, and it was worth your life,’ ” Schira said. “We’re not forgetting you.”

Brunswick Mayor Gary Werner spoke about remembering why the United States celebrates Memorial Day.

“We return here today to continue the nation’s tradition of paying tribute to its fallen soldiers, sailors, air men and Marines,” Werner said. “Today gives us an occasion to pay tribute with special fanfare, flourish and celebrity. It is our collective privilege to be here today and to participate in this solemn remembrance.”

Werner then reminded everyone in the crowd that the non-military citizens of the country are just as important as those who have given their lives.

“Like those who we remember today, we too, are keepers of this nation’s liberty,” Werner said.

Brunswick Hills Police Chief Sharon MacKay reminded those in attendance of one of the best lessons of all — the price of freedom.

“It’s important that we remember this day and the sacrifice of our veterans,” MacKay said. “It is also important that we remember freedom is not free.”

After the parade, veterans were honored with a small ceremony at the cemetery, which included the placing of wreaths, a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps.

Contact Andrew Harner at (330) 721-4063 or aharner@medina-gazette.com.

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The Gazette is Medina County's daily local news source, serving the community since 1832. Contact The Gazette's news department at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.