Pelion, SC (Paul Kirby) – The Pelion Ruritan Club will once again join with the community to remember those who gave their lives in service to our country on Memorial Day. At 10 a.m. on Monday, May 27th, a hush will fall over the area of the club’s Veteran’s Memorial on Main Street as the somber event begins. Crowds of people both young and old will stand or sit in the heat as the ceremony is held. They will listen, watch, but mostly they will remember or learn that freedom is not free, and the price for it was paid in blood.
The Pelion Ruritan Club’s Memorial is beautiful. Built several years ago, it has expertly crafted granite monuments that reflect each branch of the service. There’s a granite wall where one can sit and reflect. There are pavers engraved with the names of veterans in their honor and a tall flagpole in the center that displays the colors of our great nation.
The annual memorial service is not just a time to hear speakers reflect on friends who’ve died or what an honor it is to serve, it’s also the time when Old Glory is lowered, respectfully folded, and replaced by a new flag that will fly during the coming year. Command Sergeant Major Tim Treaster, USAF (ret.) who is a member of the Ruritan Club will oversee that. He will be assisted by the color guard of the Pelion High School JROTC as 1st Sergeant Tom Peel, US Army (ret) performs the honors.Palmetto Patriot Guard Riders will stand at attention, guarding the memory and ensuring the dead get the respect they’ve earned.
There will be music by the Pelion High School Chorus and band. The Soldiers of Faith will sing as is customary. Eventually, Pelion High School Band Director Otto Hage will step behind the old depot and play a heart wrenching version of taps. You’ll see the young turn and look to see where the sound of the horn originated. During this moment, you are apt to see veterans who served in action wipe a tear as they too remember those they knew who are now gone. A piper will play and bagpipes, which by nature produce a mournful song, one that tugs at the heart. A wreath will be laid, photographs will be taken, and then slowly the crowds will disperse. Parents and grandparents will have the hands of small children as the walk away, quietly trying to explain death, service, honor, and memories of those who’ve gone.
This is a premier event, a time for teaching, a time to remember, to touch the name of someone engraved on a paver and feel just a little closer. Memorial Day isn’t a day to honor veterans, there’s a day for that. Memorial Day is a day to remember veterans who died, who didn’t come home, who left loved ones with tears so that all of us as Americans can be free.
The Pelion Ruritan’s Memorial is located on Main Street just past Pelion Road. Everyone should try and be there.