In a town with such a rich history as Lansing, Memorial Day is both a day of remembrance and a time to unofficially begin the summer season. Both of these ideas converged recently at the entrance to the local town park where about a dozen gathered together in a ceremony to honor the fallen soldiers of the community.
As no other memorial services have been held in recent years to mark the occasion, Fr James Worthington of Holy Apostles Orthodox Church contacted each area faith communities a few weeks ago to begin to organize the event. At the appointed time, several local residents joined with the Holy Apostles community along with residents of the nearby marina. A requiem service was sung at the sight of the commemorative marker in Myers Park, which itself is a beautiful example of God’s handiwork. The marker is “Dedicated to those who served that the spirit of liberty and freedom might live.” In the spirit of gratitude for the sacrifices made in protecting the freedoms enjoyed by Americans everywhere, the gathered remembered many family members and friends who were soldiers by name, as well as interceded for those whose names are too numerous and unknown.
Fr James spoke at the end of the service about the necessity of remembering the selfless sacrifices of those who have done so for the benefit of others, especially as those sacrifices are exemplified by the soldiers of the Armed Forces.
As the service was concluded, the feeling among the participants was that this was a good and necessary thing that ought to be done more often in our community. As Dick Moore, proprietor of a local Christmas Tree Farm, said, “Thank you for doing this; we should do this more often.” Also present was Genevieve Denais, herself a French citizen. She spoke about the commemorations of World Wars I and II that are still observed in France, and how we must not forget our civic duties on these solemn days. “In France, we are so thankful for the soldiers,” Genevieve said. “Without them, we would have nothing. And without God, we would have nothing. We must remember them and be thankful for all that has been given to us.”
It was the desire of the participants that the town would gather more frequently to honor these civic holidays through solemn commemorations and prayers. Already, plans for memorial services on Independence Day and Veterans Day are underway.