By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Those who paid the ultimate price to preserve American freedom were honored Monday morning.
Ste. Genevieve Veterans of foreign Wars (VFW) # 2210 hosted the annual Memorial Day ceremony, also featuring American Legion Posts 150 and 554, Legion and VFW auxiliaries, American Legion Riders, Sons of the American Legion and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
The event saw Rose Hughey sing The National Anthem and America the Beautiful and short talks given by Presiding Commissioner Randy Ruzicka and Betty Arnold, Past Department President of the VFW Auxiliary.
The keynote speaker was Lisa McGregor, mother of the late Sergeant Michael Beckerman, a Ste. Genevieve native who was killed in action Dec. 31, 2010, while serving in operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
McGregor recalled childhood visits to the grave of her grandfather, who was killed in action in March 1945, late in World War II.
She said she thought Beckerman was “preordained to join the military at a very young age.”
“I did not think of my Michael as a hero, nor do I think he would ever said so about himself,” she said.
She urged that we continue to remember and honor “mothers who never saw their sons again, fathers who wept in private, wives that raised children alone, and children who only remember them from a photo, never turning thaecognizing the high cost of freedom.”
The roll call of VFW members who had died the past year was read, along with the 50-, 60-, and 70-year members.
The Ste. Genevieve German Band provided patriotic music.
Outside, the Avenue of Flags waved in the breeze, with funeral flags from many deceased local veterans being flown.