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Fairbanks community gathers for Memorial Day service

Published: May. 31, 2021 at 4:48 PM AKDT|Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 4:49 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - In honor of Memorial Day, the American Legion, along with Veterans of Foreign Wars, held services at Veterans Memorial Park near downtown Fairbanks on the morning of May 31.

Benno Cleveland, a veteran with the Alaska Native Veterans Association said, “I have attended many of these ceremonies, many of these memorials, and this is the most I have seen come out, is today.”

Interior mayors Bryce Ward, Jim Matherly and Mike Welch gave statements marking the occasion.

“It’s been said that Memorial Day is one of the most expensive holidays that we celebrate in any year. The price of freedom is paid for by the sacrifices of those that have come before us, that have given their lives to protect that freedom,” Ward said.

“I’m thanking people I’ve never seen or met, but yet they mean so much to me and they should mean so much to our country,” Matherly said.

Greg Bringhurst Fairbanks Regional Director for Senator Dan Sullivan, read a statement prepared by the senator, saying, “Our fallen are not the only casualties of war. Today we honor the sacrifice of family members who have lost loved ones defending our nation.”

Memorial Day, which has been observed since 1868, remains an occasion for remembering those who gave.

Walter E. Crary, American Legion Post 11 Commander, spoke to the crowd, urging, “Fathers, brothers, sisters, wives and husbands, remember.”

The two organizations later held events at Clay Street, Birch Hill and Northern Lights Cemeteries, concluding the day’s events at Golden Heart Park.

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