In his invocation for the Memorial Day Services in Corning on Monday, VFW Post 4218 Chaplain Dennis Wyman said the veterans who left their homes and families to fight for freedom do so “always understanding they may not come back from their mission.”

Those words opened the solemn ceremony at Sunset Hills Cemetery in Corning as more than 100 people gathered to honor the fallen heroes who gave their all for their country and freedom.

VFW Post 4218 Commander Mike Taylor welcome all those in attendance and introduced Linda Davis who sang the Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America.

This year's special guest speaker was Tehama County Supervisor and military veteran John Leach.

“The fallen heroes graciously gave their lives to keep this country free,” Leach said, as he shared the story of 19-year-old Cindy Beaudoin, who was killed in action during her first week of fighting in the Afghanistan War, and the brothers, Ferdi and Alfred Lebrecht, who escaped the evils of Nazi Germany and were killed while fighting that regime in Europe.

“We are here today to recall and honor the one million heroes who died protecting freedom and this country since the American Revolution to the current war,” he said.

Quoting a letter Beaudoin wrote to her parents before leaving for war, Leach added, “If I should die while helping to achieve this, then I did not die in vain.”

“Cindy Beaudoin did not die in vain. Neither did any other American who we honor on Memorial Day,” he said.

The local VFW, American Legion and DAV Honor Guard provided a military salute and taps, followed by Corning Boy Scout Troop 5 conducting the Laying of Wreaths in representation of each American-involved war at the cemetery's Veterans Obelisk.

The ceremony closed with Wyman giving a closing prayer.

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