IBERIA — The village celebrated a traditional Memorial Day service Monday afternoon with the presentation of colors and flags by the Boy Scouts of Troop 35 and laying flowers on Reverend George Gordon’s grave.
Rev. Gordon was convicted of violating the Fugitive Slave Law and was pardoned by President Lincoln. However, he refused Lincoln’s pardon, saying that he had done nothing wrong and only done what was right in helping slaves escape to freedom.
Rev. Gordon was a Presbyterian Minister and one of the leaders of the abolitionists in Iberia.
Mark Melroy of Caledonia was the keynote speaker for the service, which was held at the Iberia Cemetery. Melroy gave a stirring speech about the history and significance of Memorial Day, formerly called “Decoration Day.” He thanked those attending for taking time out on a hot day to pay their respects to veterans.
Melroy concluded his speech playing the “Song for the Unknown Warrior” on the bagpipes.
Master of Ceremonies Alan Forry thanked Washington Township trustees for setting up chairs and sponsoring the service. He recognized Northmor High School junior Alex Tuttle for reading Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Boy Scout Troop 35 for helping with the service.
Following the gun salute, Rev. Pat Fruth spoke about the importance of thinking about the sacrifice veterans have made and to thank them and pray for them.
The haunting sound of “Taps” echoed across the cemetery to close the program.