On a day when many people take advantage of no work to head to the lake, the river or some extra time in bed, many pause to remember what the holiday is about.
Throughout the Memorial Day holiday, ceremonies were held throughout Faulkner County with different speakers, different customs and different ideas about the reason for the day. But all who participated knew that the message in each event was one of remembrance.
People came to area cemeteries to remember those who sacrificed for the United States in war and in peace. They came to Oakland Cemetery, Carter Cemetery, Old Liberty Cemetery, Oak Grove Cemetery, Crestwood Cemetery, Macedonia Cemetery as well as the Faulkner County Courthouse and Copperas Springs in Guy.
Conway Mayor Tab Townsell spoke at the ceremony at Oak Grove, which was complete with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2259 Honor Guard and the Conway Firefighters Pipe and Drums bagpipes.
“It is at places like this at times like these where we are able to meet as a community,” Townsell said. “It gives the community time to remember what’s important, to remember those people who gave their lives and those people who sacrificed portions of their lives for this country.”
He said Memorial Day was a day to put aside any differences of opinion.
“You stand here in this place,” he said. “And you don’t see a stone marked ‘conservative American’ or liberal American.’ You see those whose core values were to answer a call to their country.”
State Representative Lynda Tyler spoke at the courthouse, pointing out that many remembrances are personal. She named off several relatives who served for the country, but she also said the focus is on the whole of those who gave their lives.
“It is important for us to remember that their sacrifice is the reason we can come to this courthouse to vote,” she said. “It is the reason we can send our children to school.
“What we need to do to truly honor them is to talk about them with everyone after this day is over.”