Click here to watch a video from the celebration.


Wind gusts of up to 45 mph didn?t stop the more than 150 people from attending the annual Memorial Day Service Monday at Hillsboro?s Memorial Park.

Dick Carr, commander of the Hillsboro American Legion Post welcomed the many guests.

?We are here to pay tribute to those who gave their lives in the service of our country and that came home,? he said. ?Let them not be forgotten.?

This year?s speaker at the service was Mike Zamrzla, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran?s aide, who delivered a message from Moran in honor of Memorial Day.

Zamrzla said Moran wanted to say that since the Civil War, Americans have gathered each year on Memorial Day to remember those courageous souls who answered the call to serve our country.

?We gather together to express our gratitude for their service. And we gather together to remind our children and grandchildren that because of their sacrifice, we have the opportunity to live in the strongest, freest and greatest nation in the world,? Zamrzla said.

Anniversary of Vietnam War


This year, he said, also marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

?On Memorial Day, we remember those thousands of servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice and never returned home. Their names are etched into the walls of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial?and forever etched into the memories of those who never had the chance to say goodbye. On this day, we remember that freedom is not free,? he said.

Soldiers recognized

Also included in the ceremony was the reading of names honoring those who gave their lives in service to the country.

Carr recognized Roy Flaming, Ervin Harder, Herbert Jantzen, William Klassen, Alfred Schroeder, Ronald Schultz, Winston Toews and Leo Warken?tin.

?Since our last service, the following veterans have gone to their eternal rest,? Carr said.

They included Kenneth (Bud) Buller, Victor L. Ensz, Jay N. Kimberly, Leslie Kitchenmaster and James V. Schroder.

Wayne Friesen and Ron Suderman then read roll call of the dead.

In his remarks, Zamrzla, on behalf of Moran, said that at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., stands a Freedom Wall adorned with 4,000 gold stars to commemorate the more than 400,000 Americans who died in WWII.

?Many Kansans are represented by those stars?including one brave Marine who went above and beyond the call of duty in service to his country,? he said.

Father Kapaun honored

Earlier this year, Sen. Pat Roberts and Moran introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate to award another Kansas war hero the Medal of Honor for his acts of valor in the Korean War, Zamrzla said.

?Father Emil Kapaun was born in Pilsen in 1916, and served as a chaplain for the 8th Calvary Regiment of the First Army Division.

?His courageous actions in the Korean battlefields saved countless lives, as he ran under enemy fire to rescue wounded soldiers.

?When Father Kapaun was taken as a prisoner in 1950, he continued to live out the Army Chaplain motto ? ?for God and Country.?

?In the bitter cold of winter, Father Kapaun carried injured comrades on his back during forced marches through the snow and ice, gave away his meager food rations and cared for the sick who were suffering alongside him in the prison camp. When all else looked hopeless, the Father rallied his comrades to persevere ? until his own death as a prisoner in 1951.

?This good man distinguished himself by laying down his life for the sake of others,? Zamrzla said.

Another man from Kansas, Zamrzla acknowledged was Sgt. Grant Timmerman, assigned to the 2nd Marine Division in the Pacific Theater. He was also recognized with the Medal of Honor for his bravery in protecting his fellow soldiers from a grenade.

?He fearlessly stood up in the exposed turret and ordered the infantry to hit the deck. As a grenade hurled by the Japanese was about to drop into the open turret hatch, Timmerman threw himself on top of the grenade, taking the blunt of the explosion, and saving the lives of his crew.,? he said.

Zamrzla conveyed Moran?s message that even today young men and women are risking their lives for the sake of others.

?In Iraq, Afghanistan and across the globe, our service members are fighting for those principles we hold most dear? freedom and justice,? he said.

On behalf of Moran, Zamrzla said. ?We thank God for giving us these heroes, and stand committed to preserving this nation for the sake of the next generation?so they too can pursue the American dream with freedom and liberty.

?We are indebted to our veterans to do nothing less,? he said.

The service concluded with a 21-gun salute by the American Legion Firing Squad. Matthew Wiebe, a 2011 Hillsboro High School graduate played ?Taps? on his bugle.

Others participating in the service were members of the American Legion Color Guard. American Legion Auxiliary Chaplain Kathy Carr gave the Memorial Day Prayer.

More from Hillsboro Free Press
Area players named to all-star team
Lucas Sinclair (left) of Hillsboro and Caleb Williams of Marion, pictured here...
Read More