Deceased veterans honored at Alta ceremony
Service members who died while serving our country were honored at a Memorial Day service on May 31st at Alta-Aurelia High School. As is tradition, Alta’s VFW Post 6172 organized the event. Names, duty stations and medals awarded to deceased veterans were a recurring theme during the service.
Cathy Fisher, Alta’s VFW Ladies Auxiliary President, was an organizer and responsible for the “Placing of Wreath” portion of the program. “The ceremony is important to honor the deceased and what they’ve given,” she said. She thanks all who attended, some of whom have deceased family or friends to pay tribute to and others who just wanted to be there to show their appreciation, she said.
Pastor Denise Parrello of First Presbyterian Church and Trinity Lutheran Church in Alta was guest speaker. She spoke of veterans who gave their lives to this country, including those who died in 2021.
“Our country called them to duty, and they responded, and they gave all they had, even their lives,” Parrello said. “We who have been protected, who have been served, who have been preserved by this great gift are now charged with the task of honoring the memory of these fallen heroes.”
“Since the Civil War we have gathered annually to give this day to the memory of our fallen soldiers, to remember their gift to us and to remember their lives cut short. In this time of unprecedented success and prosperity of our land, I ask that all Americans come together to recognize how fortunate we are to live in freedom and to observe a universal, national moment of remembrance on each Memorial Day,” Parrello said.
Alex DeRoos’s introduction referenced those who served the country over the decades, they and their families having made sacrifices. He is a member of the Army National Guard and a 2021 graduate of A-A High School. When he attends college in the fall, he plans to join the ranks of ROTC.
DeRoos said he was asked to lead the service as his father has done in Storm Lake for years. Louie DeRoos, retired from the Army, was Master of Ceremonies and his wife, Sherry, guest speaker this year at the Storm Lake Memorial Day ceremony. The DeRoos family is from Aurelia.
VFW Post 6172 Commander Don Fisher said, “Thank you to all who took time out of your day to remember those who sacrificed so much for our freedom.”
Rev. Brad Smith and Randy Ericksen contributed to the ceremony with prayer, music and singing. The Alta-Aurelia High School band performed patriotic music throughout the event. The ceremony concluded with a 21 Gun Salute and Taps by VFW members on the high school lawn.