Legionnaires remember fallen comrades at services

by Bill Nachman and Charlie Koenig - Posted on Jun 01, 2011 - 04:04 PM

Photo: A Memorial Day service was held Sunday at the Veterans Memorial near the new courthouse in Gloucester. Among those placing wreaths were, from left, Ed Roberts and Bill Kossler, members of American Legion Post 75 in Gloucester, escorted by Shelbi Stackler, a sophomore at Gloucester High School and a member of the school’s NJROTC. Photo by Bill Nachman.

A Memorial Day service was held Sunday at the Veterans Memorial near the new courthouse in Gloucester. Among those placing wreaths were, from left, Ed Roberts and Bill Kossler, members of American Legion Post 75 in Gloucester, escorted by Shelbi Stackler, a sophomore at Gloucester High School and a member of the school’s NJROTC. Photo by Bill Nachman.

Photo: Wally Scheid, past commander of American Legion Post 83, blows “Taps” at the conclusion of Sunday’s service in Mathews. In back are Tommy Lewis and other members of the Post 83 Honor Guard and Rifle Squad. Photo by Charlie Koenig.

Wally Scheid, past commander of American Legion Post 83, blows “Taps” at the conclusion of Sunday’s service in Mathews. In back are Tommy Lewis and other members of the Post 83 Honor Guard and Rifle Squad. Photo by Charlie Koenig.

American Legion posts in Gloucester and Mathews counties paid tribute on Sunday to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this country.

Approximately 100 people attended a Memorial Day service at the Veterans Memorial in front of the new Gloucester courthouse.

"This is a bittersweet day," said guest speaker Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Tamara Olson, because having a Memorial Day comes at the expense of many lives being lost.

But it is very important for military veterans and others to hold services such as this in honor of the fallen heroes, Olson said. She received the Air Force Command Outstanding Senior NCO of the Year award for 2009 and was also the Outstanding Airman of the Year for Langley Air Force Base in Hampton.

Memorial Day began on an informal basis as Decoration Day shortly after the Civil War, Olson said, and many Memorial Day observances began following World War II, with the national day later set as the last Monday in May by Congress.