Lakeside area veterans organizations joined together to arrange a Memorial Day ceremony Monday, May 29 in tribute to military personnel who died while serving in the armed forces of the United States and Canada.
Members of American Legion Posts 7 and 9, Anavets Mexico Unit 19 and the Canadian Veterans Support Association formed the color guard that carried flags to initiate the solemn gathering held in the main foreign section of the Chapala cemetery.
Dignitaries and special guests included Canadian Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner Frank Le; Andrew Rule, military Aattaché at the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City; Chapala cabinet chief Joaquín Huerta; Foreign Community Liaison Aurora Michel representing Mayor Alejandro Aguirre; Daughters of the American Revolution spokeswoman Janice Manen and Lake Chapala Society Executive Director Luis Pacheco.
“We remember today that our freedom was not free,” remarked Post 7 Chaplain Floria Johnson-Mason, in leading the opening prayer for the event dedicated to men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of their fellow citizens.
The ceremony continued with the national anthems of the three North American countries, the hymns of each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the laying of respective memorial wreaths adorned with large artificial poppies or fresh flowers and greenery.
After Anavets Service Officer Mark Horodecky recited the classic poem “In Flanders Fields,” the guests shared their reflections on the deeper meanings of Memorial Day and the annual salute to fallen heroes.
Post 7 Commander Randall Butler spoke eloquently about all who serve in the military and families that grieve for loved ones who have died or are left wounded from their duties. He expressed appreciation for the Chapala government’s assistance in maintaining the cemetery’s foreign sections, including permission for the recent installment of fencing delimiting the original graveyard plot in the northeast corner of the property.
Later in the day Post 7 hosted a Memorial Day pig roast dinner party.