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Navy night kicks off Memorial Day Activities

Misty air hovered above the Ohio River.

Friday, May 25, 2001

Misty air hovered above the Ohio River. Area residents, veterans, city officials, Naval Reserve officers and others bowed their heads. The Rev. David Schug led a prayer for "those who have given their lives those who know what its like to leave home and country "

Then, with the posting of colors and a trumpet-led "Star Spangled Banner," the Memorial Day Parade Committee’s annual Navy Night got underway.

"This is an opportunity to pay honor to those who served in the Navy, those who spent their time and talents on waterways no matter what branch of service, to protect this great country," said Judge Richard Walton, master of ceremonies.

Navy veteran and attorney David H. McCown, Lt. JG, began his speech with a question.

"I think we all have to ask again What does it mean to us?" he said, calling everyone’s attention to Memorial Day.

It’s a time to go beyond the parades and family gatherings, he said.

"It’s a time to give serious thought to all those who made sacrifices not only for our country but for you and me and untold generations to come."

Freedom is not free, McCown said, recounting the cost of war in terms of human life at Normandy, Pearl Harbor and countless fields around the world.

Many who have visited VA hospitals have seen the ugly scars of war, he said.

Maybe the next generation will learn what other generations have not, McCown added.

"Brotherhood and love will someday replace war and it’s blood price will be no more."

Finally, with a gunnery salute by VFW Post 8850 and the playing of "Taps," local Girl Scouts cast rose of remembrance into the river and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps placed a wreath in the water – all to honor those who served on the waters of the world protecting the liberty enjoyed in these United States.