Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Veterans wave during the Middlebury Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 26, 2014. (Miriam Nowak/The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

The Middlebury Legion Riders rode in Middlebury's Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 26, 2014. (Miriam Nowak/The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

The Northridge Marching Band marched in the Middlebury Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 26, 2014. (Miriam Nowak/The Elkhart Truth)

Doug Weaver, Middlebury American Legion Post 210 commander, addresses the crowd at Middlebury's Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 26, 2014. (Miriam Nowak/The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

Remington and Rob Elliott and Staff Sgt. Eric Houser salute as the Northridge High School Band play "The Star-Spangled Banner" during Middlebury's Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 26, 2014. (Miriam Nowak/The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

Jack Cook (from left), Larry Kimes, John Doeden, Steve Rathka and Floyd Plank, American Legion Post 210 firing squad, lead the march to Grace Lawn Cemetery during Middlebury's Memorial Day ceremonies on Monday, May 26, 2014. (Miriam Nowak/The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

Arianna Buitenhuis tosses a red wreath into the Little Elkhart River in honor of those lost at sea during Middlebury' s Memorial Day observance on Monday, May 26, 2014. (Miriam Nowak/The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

Middlebury American Legion Post 210 member John Whitson holds the American flag during Middlebury's Memorial Day observance on Monday, May 26, 2014. (Miriam Nowak/The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

Greg Krider begins the reading of the roll call of veterans buried at Grace Lawn Cemetery in Middlebury during the town's Memorial Day ceremonies on Monday, May 26, 2014. Bearing the American flag is Post 210 member John Whitson. Bearing the American Legion flag is Post 210 member Tom Carney. (Miriam Nowak/The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

Middlebury American Post 210 commander Doug Weaver looks on as post member Jack Kortie stands with his wife at the grave of the post's namesake, Cpl. Mark L. Wilt. Kortie told about Wilt's service at Middlebury's Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 26, 2014. (Miriam Nowak/The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)
Middlebury honors fallen veterans with Memorial Day ceremonies, parade

Posted on May 26, 2014 at 4:37 p.m.

MIDDLEBURY — People lined Main Street in Middlebury for the Memorial Day parade, remembering those who have served our country. The crowd broke into applause Monday, May 26, as the color guard of the Mark L. Wilt American Legion Post 210 of Middlebury, veterans and the Legion Riders passed by. The Northridge High School Marching Band rounded out the parade.

At Memorial Park, the community gathered for a ceremony.

“We are thankful for our freedom and those who stood up and stepped forward for our country,” said the Rev. Ron Russell, pastor of Middlebury First United Methodist Church, as he gave the invocation.

Northridge sophomore Libby Grossman read the Gettysburg Address.

“I’m really glad to see this turnout to honor all of our veterans,” said post commander Doug Weaver.

“It is what they have done that has allowed us to be here today,” said Gary Whitehead, former Elkhart County veteran service officer.

“Unless you’ve been there, you don’t really understand the knots in our throats,” said Russell, who served in Vietnam. “The veterans served for the love of our country and were willing to do whatever it took to keep our nation free.”

The Legion Color Guard led the crowd to Grace Lawn Cemetery in Middlebury, stopping at the bridge over the Little Elkhart River. Arianna Buitenhuis tossed a wreath into the waters to honor those lost at sea.

At the memorial to soldiers, the names of all 796 veterans buried in the cemetery were read. On Sunday evening, Post 210 held a vigil over the graves of all of the soldiers from dusk to dawn.

The reading of the roll was followed by a 21-gun salute, the playing of taps and a reading of “In Flanders Field” by Theodore Field, the 2014 Hoosier Boys state delegate.

The crowd then gathered around the grave of World War I soldier Cpl. Mark L. Wilt, the post’s namesake. Post member Jack Kortie told about Wilt’s life.

After the ceremony, Post 210 hosted a picnic for the community.