KINGFIELD — More than 50 people gathered Monday, May 27 at the War Monument on Depot Street for a solemn Memorial Day ceremony.

“Today is Memorial Day,” said American Legion Norton-Wuori Post 61 Commander Johnny Maynard. “ A day to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the defense of our country. We as Americans have come to know that freedom is not free. It was fought for during the American Revolution and has been defended to the death for nearly 250 years. Every generation has seen its own war. And, every community in America has felt the effects of that war by losing its most cherished sons and daughters.”

The American Legion Norton-Wuori Post 61 firing squad prepares for a 21-gun salute Monday, May 27 in Kingfield. Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear

Service Officer Christy King sang the National Anthem. Post Chaplin Floyd Cook offered a prayer.

Kingfield American Legion Norton-Wuori Post 61 Service Officer Christy King sings the national anthem Monday, May 27 as Commander Johnny Maynard pays his respects. Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear

Guest speaker Tom Saviello of Wilton said, “My two favorite holidays are not Christmas and thanksgiving. Not Easter, Passover, mother’s day or father’s day. My favorite holidays are Memorial Day and Veterans Day. On Memorial Day we remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and say thank you to those who served. On Memorial Day we remember those individuals that made the ultimate sacrifice so we might be free to have “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as Thomas Jefferson expressed it.

“From the American Revolution through the War on Terror, the United States has been blessed with a population of people who so deeply understand the importance of our way of life they are willing to lay down their own lives for it. Nothing we can say or do will ever be sufficient thanks for the people who have made the choice to serve and have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Saviello asked the crowd to consider the lyrics of “Taps”, and two poems, “It is a soldier” by Charles M. Province and “Forever Young” by Ralph Eden, as he recited each piece.

“Let us reflect on our obligation to live in gratitude for these sacrifices,” he said.

Finance Officer Jim Williamson read the description of the Table Set for One. He was assisted by long time post member Fulton Ryan.

First Vice Commander Terry Wyman, at center, of American Legion Norton-Wuori Post 61 in Kingfield places a ceremonial wreath at the War Monument Monday, May 27. Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear

First Vice Commander Terry Wyman placed a ceremonial wreath at the monument.

“Before we close today’s ceremony, I ask that when you leave here today, that you take the time to be with your loved ones and that you honor soldiers like Donald Norton and Ilamari Wuori by enjoying things that they no longer can,” Maynard said.

A 21 gun salute closed the ceremony while Alejandro Fernandez played taps on the bugle.

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