Memorial Day 2023 in Pinedale
by Pinedale Online!
May 31, 2023
The Sublette County Veterans Mounted Cavalry (SCVMC) performed a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial in Legion Park in Pinedale on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29th. They had a riderless horse to represent the fallen. Taps was played by Bryson Vrska, followed by a moment of silence in respect to those who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty
Afterwards, there was a Memorial Day Service with the VFW and American Legion at the Pinedale Cemetery. Hank Ruland gave a special presentation talk, Memorial wreaths were laid, and there was a three-volley salute from the Honor Guard. The US flag was raised to full staff at noon. A luncheon followed at the VFW in Pinedale following the ceremonies.
Memorial Day Speech 2023 - Veterans Memorial, Pinedale,
Speaker: Michael Edison, Commander
Sublette County Veterans Mounted Cavalry
Soldiers and Patriots,
Today, we honor and remember those who have fallen. Those that have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may live FREE.
We also remember ALL those who have served in our US Armed Forces, both past and present.
We MUST remember what they stood for, and WHY they gave us their all.
Behind me is this beautiful Memorial. The names of those that have served both past and present are forever engraved upon this granite stone. These are the glorious Sons and Daughters of our beloved County. They fought for us, for our values, culture and way of life. They fought so that we may remain a free and sovereign people.
Shortly after Pinedale was founded, World War I erupted over in Europe. Over 70 men from Pinedale and the Upper Green answered the call and volunteered to serve. A machine gun company was formed and headquartered out of Pinedale. It was commanded by C.F. Patterson. They eventually were sent to France. Two of the members were killed there. Clifford Phillips was shot by an enemy sniper and Sydney Edwards was killed in a hospital when an airplane shelled the building.
In World War II, there were over 400 men and women that served from Sublette County. Two young men from Pinedale lost their lives in this war. S.Sgt. Ralph Wenz was killed in the line of duty when his bomber crashed in the wilds of Alaska. Ralph Wenz Field, Pinedale’s Municipal Airport is named in his honor.
S.Sgt. Boyd Skinner was killed in action at the battle of Iwo Jima. The town park at the South end of Franklin Avenue is dedicated to him.
In Vietnam, Michael Wilson of Boulder, Wyoming, made the ultimate sacrifice when a booby trap detonated in a battle trying to take another hill. Marc Vandervelde of Pinedale, fought complications throughout his life that arose from his exposure to Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant used in that war. Marc passed away in the Spring of 2020.
Today, we also want to remember those Veterans who have succumbed to the invisible wounds of war and taken their own lives or put themselves in dangerous situations caused by post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury or other service-connected conditions.
Currently, the suicide rate among Veterans is at 23 lives a day. Post 911, less than 1% of the general population serve in the military. Of this number, 80% have served overseas in a combat zone. Memorial Day is also for them.
A riderless horse symbolizes the fallen soldier. The boots of its former rider are reversed in the stirrups, to represent a fallen soldier looking back at his troops for the last time.
To many of us who have served, remembering the fallen, is to remember our brothers in arms.
This past April, Charles Cundy, of Pinedale had passed away. Chuck served during the Vietnam War as a Military Policeman and Dog Trainer. He was also a local private pilot and Alaskan Bush pilot. His wife, Betty, has asked us if we could properly fold an American flag for her. We agreed.
Taps to be played in honor of ALL of the Fallen.
Moment of silence to remember all those who sacrificed and gave us their all, so that we may remain FREE.