‘Duty, Honor, Country’: Remembering Marco’s fallen

Chris Curle
Special to the Eagle
Marco DAR Regent, Ellen Camm (front in blue) is flanked by other chapter members. The DAR and American Legion launched Marco’s participation in the national Wreaths Across America.
American Legion Post 404 members Jim Romerill,  US Navy 2nd Class Petty Officer (Ret.) and Harry Weathers, Army SP5 (Ret.) were part of the Color Guard at the 2nd Annual Wreaths Across America at the Marco Island Cemetery.

The Marco Island Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 19 was awash with American flags, pine wreaths with red bows, military uniforms and men, women and children wearing red, white and blue clothing. 

It was the Wreaths Across America event launched by the Marco Island Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and Marco Island’s American Legion Post 404.

DAR Regent Ellen Camm announced that the gathering was “to remember the fallen, honor those who serve and teach our children the value of freedom.

“We remember our fallen heroes,” she continued, “by placing the wreaths, saying their names aloud and thanking them for their service to our country.”

The American Legion Color Guard presented Colors and DAR Vice Regent Lu Ann Schieferdecker lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

 Tica Barrett of the New Life Community Church sang The National Anthem and Pastor Thomas McCulley gave the invocation.

 DAR member Sally Snyder described the theme for the 2020 Wreaths Across America: “Be An American Worth Fighting For.”

Members of the American Legion placed memorial wreaths at the monument to American Military branches. The seven wreaths honored the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines and POW/MIAs.

DAR member Beth Koller performs the ritual of placing the wreath and saying aloud the veteran’s name.
Lee Rubenstein, Commander of American Legion Post 404, honors veterans and welcomes family and volunteers to the 2nd Annal Marco Wreaths Across America

American Legion Post 404 Commander Lee Rubenstein spoke of the fallen and their dedication to freedom.  He recalled General Douglas MacArthur’s moving 1962 speech at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point NY.

The late General MacArthur spoke of “Duty, Honor, Country.  Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.”

While friends, family and volunteers began the laying of the wreaths, Emily Savage sang God Bless America.

Approximately 160 military veterans are buried at Marco Island Cemetery, going back to the Civil War.

Marco Island’s 2nd annual ceremony was part of the National Wreaths Across America Day, which began at Arlington National Cemetery and now is observed throughout the United States, at sea and abroad. (wreathsacrossamerica.org) 

Last year, 2.2 million wreaths were placed on veterans’ graves at 2,158 locations around the country.

 DAR is a service organization with 180,000 members in three-thousand chapters worldwide. Members are women eighteen years or older, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot in the American Revolution.

Monthly DAR meetings are at 10:30 a.m. on the third Thursday of each month, via the internet these days, followed by lunch, in person. Members also meet casually between meetings, just for friendship and fun. Potential members and visitors from other chapters are welcome. Please contact Ellen Camm, ellencammg@gmail.com, 317-372-1174.