Cleveland: Lake View Cemetery marks Memorial Day

CLEVELAND -- Lake View Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 30,000 Greater Cleveland veterans.

It is the final resting place for soldiers who have fought in every U.S. war dating back to the American Revolution.

On Monday, a Memorial Day Service drew a crowd of surviving veterans and loved ones to pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate price in defense of their country, fellow citizens and their freedoms.

Coast Guard Command Officer Lt. Jerrel Russell was the keynote speaker.

"When you think of all the things we honor in today's society, there is no more worthwhile or righteous reason to gather than to honor those who have been in harm's way, " he said.

Wes Featherston IV and his family came to remember his father, a Vietnam War era pilot who was shot down over Laos and remains missing.

"It's good people know that there are people who have not been reunited with their family whether living or dead," he said.

The remains of the co-pilot of that flight were recently repatriated, giving Featherston hope for some closure.

Cleveland Police Commander Ellis Johnson came to honor his father's service in Korea.

"There's a difference in saying we are free because that freedom was fought for and won," he said.

Mark and Judy Oleneack don't have loved ones buried here. But they come because that's what they were taught by parents who respected the military.

Mark said, " It's appreciation what they do for our country. We can take one day out of the year (to do this.)"

Cemetery President Katharine Goss said, "We do this every day, not with this pomp and circumstance, but we do this every single day. We honor veterans. We have funerals every single day."

Many visitors spent much of the beautiful day on the grounds.

The Memorial Day Service ended with real-life history. Amazing Grace was played on the bagpipes by Tom Garfield, the great, great, great grandson of President James Garfield.


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