Memorial Day services were held Monday, May 25th at the Bryn Zion Cemetery.

LeAnne Gompf | Morrow County Sentinel

Colonel Daniel L Tack, Jr., 179th Airlift Wing was the featured speaker for the Bryn Zion Memorial Day Service. LeAnne Gompf | Morrow County Sentinel

The brisk morning breeze carried the hauntingly beautiful taps, played by Liam Shotwell, echoing through the Bryn Zion Cemetery. LeAnne Gompf | Morrow County Sentinel

Evan and Derek Madeker, sons of Mitch and Timberlee, enjoy a moment together following the Bryn Zion Memorial Day services. LeAnne Gompf | Morrow County Sentinel

Family and friends gather to honor their loved on Memorial Day for the Bryn Zion service. LeAnne Gompf | Morrow County Sentinel

Kallie Wright bows her head during the playing of the taps in remembrance of the fallen soldiers. LeAnne Gompf | Morrow County Sentinel

Dan Fricke, leading the Color Guard, salutes as the National Anthem is sung. LeAnne Gompf | Morrow County Sentinel

Attendees listen to Colonel Daniel L Tack, Jr deliver his address. LeAnne Gompf | Morrow County Sentinel

Editor’s Note: Bryn Zion’s ceremonies were omitted from our Memorial Day coverage. We apologize for this oversight.

Since the early seventies, Memorial Day has been observed on the last Monday in May and, for many, is ingrained as the official beginning of summer with the federally mandated day ending a 3-day weekend.

Like so many communities across the country, Morrow County held several Memorial services to honor the sacrifices of a prior generation. Ric Lyle, Air Force Reserved, Retired led the Bryn Zion celebration.

After giving a brief history of Memorial Day and highlighting the loss of American soldiers in ten wars he simply stated, “We honor the men and women who have served and sacrificed theirs lives. And we pledge to never forget the true meaning of this day.”

Tom Lyle, Air Force Veteran led the Pledge of Allegiance and Shannon Lyle, Alex Kauser and Elli Herr sang a three part A cappella version of the National Anthem, followed by an opening prayer by Bryn Zion Pastor, Jeff Hubschman.

Presenting the morning’s message was Colonel Daniel Tack, Jr., 179th Airlift Wing. Colonel Tack encouraged those gathered to dedicate themselves to never forgetting the sacrifices made for them.

“Let us give back to helping families ease their loss, to visiting gravesites, to flying the POW, Missing in Action flag; to dedicating memorials in our communities. By doing these things we show the fallen and their families they live on in our hearts and we cherish their service to our Nation each and every day.”

He reminded us that only one percent of Americans serve today.

“One percent protects and defends the rights and freedoms of the other ninety-nine percent. They are far from home, but close to our hearts. Let us salute them and wish for their safe return.”

Tack concluded his message by encouraging those in attendance to make every day Memorial Day and to never abandon the cause of liberty. “Freedom is not free, it cost what it costs. It has cost the lives of our young, those willing to stand up for our freedoms, it has cost in their lives.”

In following Bryn Zion Tradition, Betty Ritchey and Mitch Madeker presented rededicated flags of the fallen to their family members. Taps, played by Liam Shotwell, echoed through the cemetery following the Color Guard’s gun salute as a final tribute to the fallen soldiers.

More photos can be viewed with the full online story at

LeAnne Gompf is a correspondent with the Morrow County Sentinel and can be reached at [email protected].