ST. MARYS – In honor of Memorial Day, a luminary service hosted by Elk Regional Health Center was held on Thursday night in recognition of individuals and organizations for their service to both community and country.
The evening began with a rendition of the "Star-Spangled Banner" sung by Betty Schogren, Rene Smith, and the Rev. Craig Duffield.
In welcoming those in attendance, Gregory P. Bauer, president and CEO of Elk Regional Health System, discussed the importance of recognizing the sacrifice of America's servicemen and women.
"Making the good of the many a higher priority than the good of the one is what makes these servants, these Americans, so special and worthy of tribute. Look around you and you'll see 500 luminaries lit to honor those servants. Those being honored here tonight came from all walks of life and that's the beauty of service, anybody can do it," Bauer said.
Charlotte Floravit, ERHC's director of public relations, and Ann Bauer, Community Nurses, Inc.'s marketing director/public relations representative, led readings of "The Gardens of Kindness" and "Welcome Home." An excerpt of the latter honoring those fallen in the line of service reads, "To those who fought on foreign soil, Whose lives did end through dangerous toil, to arrive back home flag-draped, silent, and still, to rest in peace beneath the grass on the hill, a reverent welcome home."
Rebecca Nelson, CEO of Community Nurses, Inc., discussed the virtues of service and qualities that define a leader, whether their service is through volunteering to improve their communities or in the line of service in protecting the nation's interests.
"Selfless service is not an act-- it's a frame of mind. It is this frame of mind, this attitude, that those being honored here tonight have in common. And it is that unselfish frame of mind that makes them leaders-- for the true leaders are those willing to serve others," Nelson said.
The luminaries were then lit as the names of individuals and organizations being honored or memorialized were read aloud.
Quoting George Washington Carver, Bauer said, "It isn't the kind of automobile one drives nor the amount of money one has in the bank. These mean nothing-- it is simple service that measures success."
In closing, the crowd sang "God Bless America" led by Schogren, Smith, and Duffield. This was followed by bugler Jim Caruso of the St. Marys Servicemen's Burial Detail playing "Taps."
Pick up a copy of the Saturday, May 26, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.