Greencastle-Antrim honors veterans on Memorial Day

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Ronald Shafer, a Greencastle resident, spoke during ceremonies May 25, accompanied by leaders in veterans’ organizations, and Mayor Bob Eberly, right.

Ronald Shafer considers himself one of the little guys, and he paid tribute to all of the other everyday men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice after they responded to America’s call for service.

Schafer was the featured speaker at the Greencastle Memorial Day ceremony at Cedar Hill Cemetery Monday morning. He was a Marine for three years and served in Vietnam as a corporal. He retired from Letterkenny Army Dept and now works for Fisher Auto Parts.

In introductory statements, American Legion 373 commander Rudy Freshman said there was “almost an invisible presence of those who have gone before us. Let us exercise the privilege and duty of patriotism.”

The Legion and VFW Post 6319 sponsored the annual parade and program.

In recognition of the day, Shafer said, “You hear words many times, but they cannot be mentioned enough - duty, courage, respect and honor.”

He remembered his friends, Richie, Walter, Frank and Donald.

“These names mean nothing to you, but they mean the world to me,” he said.

Those pals did not come home from the war.

He also named fallen comrades from Greencastle and Antrim Township who paid the price in  America’s conflicts. All of those people would want today’s citizens to give time, take time and make time for others, he said. He urged the crowd to walk through the cemetery, especially to look at the gravestones marked with flags, and to think about the soldiers and their families.

“May this be a holiday that never changes,” Shafer said, adding that the people who chose to spend their time May 25 honoring the war dead were his heroes.