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Area residents of all ages stood in solidarity inside the Oswego Township Cemetery on South Main Street in Oswego Monday morning for the Oswego American Legion Post 675's annual Memorial Day service.
The annual parade down Oswego's Main Street to the cemetery and the service was led by the Legion Honor Guard, the Oswego High School and Oswego East High School Marching Bands and several area Scout Troops. As the parade passed, residents joined the parade as it proceeded down the street to the cemetery.
Legion Chaplain Ron Stark thanked residents for attending.
"When I came back in the sixties there wasn't too much enthusiasm, but I started (recently) wearing my veteran's hat, and people have come up to me, and said, 'You know, I wish more veterans would do that. I would like to thank you, but I don't know who you are,'" Legion Chaplain Ron Stark said. "I tell them it means so much. Your presence here today is so healing and so rewarding."
Former Post Commander Don Dahm laid a wreath at the base of the cemetery's flagpole while the marching bands performed the National Anthem, "Taps," and other patriotic songs. The Oswego Fire Protection District's Pipes and Drums performed "Amazing Grace."
"It's such an honor to have all of you here today, to honor our past veterans that we have lost," Post Commander Joe West said. "We set aside this day to pay tribute to the patriots who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country that we love. Let us honor and remember our servicemen and women who answered America's call to service, and paid the ultimate sacrifice...we honor them today.
"They all died so we could continue to cherish the things we love; freedom, country and family. This is why we gather here on Memorial Day: to honor the memory of the fallen warriors who have given everything for this country."
Following the ceremony, the Legion hosted a community luncheon at the downtown Oswego post.