Pelion, SC (06/01/2021 Paul Kirby) – A large crowd gathered under beautiful, clear skies Monday morning to honor our nation’s fallen service members at the Pelion Ruritan Club’s Veterans’ Memorial site. There was a light breeze blowing and temperatures were pleasant as the people, many decked out in red, white, and blue, sat or stood quietly throughout the program.
The solemn ceremony began with the ringing of the hour by Justin Craig, director of the Pelion High School Band. This was followed by the Presentation of the Colors by the local JROTC unit. The Soldiers of Faith southern gospel quartet sang the national anthem and an invocation followed.
As special guest and dignitaries were recognized and spoke, each referred to the freedoms that we as Americans enjoy. They reminded us that those liberties do not come free and that all of us enjoy our lives in the greatest country in the world because men and women died to ensure it is that way. It was quiet as each made their remarks. Even the smallest children in attendance seemed to understand that it was a time to solemnly reflect and honor the fallen.
There was more special music from the Soldiers of Faith that followed. As always, you could look across the crowd and see people's toes tapping as many quietly mouthed the words to the songs long with the quartet.
After the speeches concluded, Ed Wilkes played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. The members of American Legion Post #101, assisted by local veterans Sam Jackson, Sr., Steeve Neese, and Tom Peel, retired the flag that had been flying the past year and replaced it with another. That was followed by the mournful sound of the pipes once more as Wilkes played God Bless America and a Military Medley.
As the crowd began to disperse following the ceremony, friends, neighbors, and even strangers spoke quietly to one another. Many ha plans that included a special meal or some rest and recreation. All who attended seemed to be in a better place after the ceremony knowing that they had done their part to honor those who had paid the ultimate prices so that Americans could enjoy a day like Monday.
You can see the Pelion Ruritan Club's Veterans' Memorial all year on Main Street by the walking track and the town hall.