Austin ceremonies honor veterans

Published 10:27 am Tuesday, May 29, 2012

American Legion Post 91 members Ray Waters, left, and Roger Reller bow their heads during the Benediction at a Memorial Day service in Calvary Cemetery Monday. — Trey Mewes/

Though another Memorial Day has come and gone, the veterans who are serving or have served marked the day by honoring their fallen comrades with services and parades throughout the area.

“It’s important that everybody, every red-blooded American who believes in freedom, that we continue to honor our country, our veterans, our servicepeople and those who have gone before us,” Norm Hecimovich, Mower County Veterans Memorial Committee chairman, told the crowd gathered at the memorial for a service Monday morning.

Many civilian families gathered to celebrate veterans as well. Ben Tapia took his children, Hunter, 5, and Lily, 4, to the service and the Memorial Day parade in Austin “to show them and to teach them a little bit about Memorial Day.”

Email newsletter signup

“My grandpa and my uncle have served,” he said.

For others, the services were a reminder of what they accomplished. Alfred M. Simon, a World War II veteran, attended a Memorial Day service at Calvary Cemetery. Two of his sons served in the military for more than 20 years, with one serving during Vietnam. Simon believes it’s important that citizens still honor the soldiers who secured their freedoms.

“It means a lot,” he said.