Day of Remembrance returns to Memorial Gardens

May 26, 2024 | 12:10 am

Updated May 25, 2024 | 9:36 pm

The Owensboro Memorial Gardens—a Glenn Funeral Home affiliate—hosted its 26th Annual A Day of Remembrance at the Field of Honor on Saturday. The event featured guest speaker and Army Veteran Tyler Russelburg and several musical performances. 

Under the direction of Diane Willis, the Community Band welcomed attendees to the ceremony with several patriotic songs before playing the National Anthem. President at Glenn Funeral Home, Glenn Taylor, Sr., followed with the Pledge of Allegiance. Retired pastor David Baldridge then offered an invocation. 

Sheila Miller directed the Daviess County High School Alumni Ensemble and performed the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” leading into Russelburg’s speech. 

“This weekend is fun for some people. It is a day when the grills are in full effect, and the backyards are full of friends and family,” Russelburg said. “They celebrate the 3-day weekend and the time away from work. I enjoy smelling the food and hearing the laughter from the houses.”

He quickly shifted gears to the true meaning of Memorial Day: remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and honoring them in all that we do. 

“This weekend is also a sad remembrance for some people,” he said. “This is when we reflect on all the service men and women we have lost in battle, defending this great country that we live in today. We sometimes take for granted the little victories that we have won, giving us the most significant thing we have built this country on: Freedom.”

Russelburg referenced the adage of a fallen Veteran dying twice: once when they take their final breath and again when their names go unspoken for the last time. 

“We live our lives because they gave theirs. We raise our families because they have never had the chance to do so. We say their names because they will never be forgotten,” he said. “There have been over 1 million deaths to service members while serving in a combat zone. How many precious lives were taken too soon, and for what?”

He added that Veterans are among us, and nearly everyone has a family member or friend in the armed services. He said that almost all of those individuals have lost a comrade in battle.

“For our freedom, let’s celebrate their names and what they have done for us,” Russelburg said. “Let us live a life that tries to add up to what was lost. Let’s say their names and tell people who they were and what they have done for our country.”

Russellburg also extended thanks to Glenn’s Funeral Home for hosting the event and to the many families of fallen service members. 

“Thank you for raising heroes and giving people like me someone to look up to,” he said. 

Russelburg is an active member of Veterans Empowered Together (VET), a local nonprofit comprised of Veterans dedicated to uniting and supporting the local Veteran community. They offer several resources to local Veterans, including songwriting, camping, counseling, social gatherings, equine therapy, and much more. Learn more about VET here

The ceremonies continued with local artist Clint Campbell’s rendition of “America the Beautiful,” followed by wreaths on all fallen Veterans’ grave sites. The VFW conducted the Gun Salute, while Mary Lou Goodsell performed “TAPS,” and doves were released into the air. 

Taylor concluded the event with closing remarks, followed by the Armed Forces Medley and a bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace” by Karen Brumley.

Glenn Petyon Taylor said the funeral home looks forward to the event each year and considers it a privilege to unite the community to honor the brave men and women who served in the American armed forces. 

“This event is a testament to the dedication and collaboration between our staff and the community,” Taylor said. “Their efforts to ensure that we can honor and remember those who sacrificed so much for our country, making this day a heartfelt and meaningful tribute.”

May 26, 2024 | 12:10 am

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