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That They May Not Have Died in Vain: Ava Residents Honor United States Veterans with Ceremony

Michael Boyink/Herald Ava American Legion Vice Commander Jerry Johnson addresses the crowd assembled at the Ava Cemetery on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25th, 2020.

by Michael Boyink /

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived.” – George S. Patton

On Monday, May 25th, 2020, the United States commemorated Memorial Day, which according to Wikipedia, is a “federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.”

“Old Blood and Guts” General Patton had a different take on it.

Don’t mourn those who died, instead thank God they lived.

Ava’s American Legion Vice Commander Jerry Johnson exhorted the crowd assembled at the Ava Cemetery to yet higher goals.

“Let us grasp with fearless hands the flag so nobly born before and by those others, always on the battlefield of righteousness,” Johnson said. “All who stand with us today, consecrate yourselves with us, to emulate their sacred service. So those who rest in hero’s graves may not have died in vain.”

In addition to  Johnson’s address, Ava’s Missy Breshears sang the national anthem and America the Beautiful.

The service ended with the wreath being laid by the memorial. Photo by Michael Boyink/Herald.

Wyatt Johnson played Amazing Grace on the Bagpipes. Johnson is from Grand Junction, Colorado where he is a member of the Glennfinnan Highlanders bagpipe band. He was visiting Ava to see his Great-grandmother, Alice Nelson.

Michael Boyink/Herald
Wyatt Johnson of Grand Junction, CO played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. He is the great-grandson of Ava’s Alice Nelson.