It’s not about glory or medals.
“It’s about that 17-year-old boy, in some godforsaken place, shot in the gut, holding it in with his hands, praying to his god and his mom.”
That was a line from the speech of Rock Marcone, who gave the 2012 Memorial Day address Monday at the Woodbury Veterans Memorial.
Under mostly blue skies, dozens of residents attended this year’s event, showing their respect and recognition for those who died while serving in the U.S. military.
Marcone, a decorated 26-year Army veteran, talked about the “treasure of this nation,” the young men and women who serve in the name of freedom and equality.
“That’s what we defend. That’s what we cherish,” he said from the podium.
Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens gave the opening address. Thanking the local VFW, American Legion and Lions Club, Stephens went on to talk about her own family’s service to the military and why the nation honors its fallen soldiers on Memorial Day.
“We reflect on the price some have paid so the rest of us can live in peace,” Stephens said.
This year’s ceremony also included a bagpiper, description of the flag-folding ceremony and a reading of the names of Minnesota soldiers who died recently in the line of duty.
Also on Monday, Richard Smith, 87, father of Woodbury resident Donna Stafford, was presented with a Purple Heart. (.)
Marcone, meanwhile, talked about walking through a cemetery in Virginia and seeing graves of soldiers who died from 1774-2011, and again reminded the crowd why it’s important to take a moment on Memorial Day to remember those servicemen and women who were killed.
“It’s about that last full measure of devotion,” Marcone said.