Larry Kremis said he was embarrassed to admit that he had always looked at Memorial Day as the beginning of summer.
His thinking has changed, the Masury man said.
“That’s just not what it’s all about,” said the featured speaker at Brookfield’s Memorial Day observance, held May 29 at Brookfield Township Cemetery.
“It’s a solemn occasion. It’s about honoring these brave and unselfish men and women who gave their lives in service to their great country,” Kremis said. “It’s a fantastic holiday.”
For James Crispen, Memorial Day is one of the toughest days he faces each and every year. Memorial Day brings to mind his days on funeral detail as an army Green Beret during the Vietnam War.
Crispen, a Masury native, attended Brookfield’s observance while on his way home – Woodstock, N.H. – after attending George Strait’s concert in Columbus.
Most years, Crispen attends 13 Memorial Day services near his home in Woodstock, a duty that he noted he now requires a little assistance to get through.
“For the last about four years, I walk over, open up a can of beer in front of the chief of police and hand my wife my keys,” said Crispen, a cousin of Brookfield Trustee Dan Suttles. “I’m usually a little bad by now because I did too many funerals when I was in the service. It wrecks with my head.”
Crispen said he thought Brookfield’s service was well put together, and excused a couple of “glitches.”
“I’ve probably done 10 times as many as they have,” he said of Memorial Day ceremonies.
Kremis was drafted into the army in October 1966, like a lot of people his age were at the time. These days, there is no draft and not so many serve.
“Bless all of those who volunteer to enter the armed forces and keep our great country free and safe,” said the former co-owner of Brookside Travel, Brookfield.
Kremis, a specialist fourth class, served for two years, including a stint in Bangkok, doing what he termed an office job.
Veterans’ Honor Roll
These veterans passed have away since Memorial Day 2022 and were named at the Brookfield Township Memorial Day Observance:
John W. Berena, Marines, Vietnam era.
Richard Booth, Air Force, peace time.
Clarence Clayton, Navy, Korean era.
Raymond J. Horvatovich, National Guard, Korean era.
Edward Hurayt, Army, Korean era.
Edward P. Kish, Army, Vietnam era.
David Charles Klingaman, Army, Korean era.
Stephen J. Kochera, Army, Vietnam era.
Robert J. Kroko, Navy, Korean era.
Theodore J. Kuzniar, Army, Korean era.
Douglas Macintyre, Army, peace time.
Robert D, Maskrey, Army, Korean era.
Robert Lee Montgomery, Navy, Vietnam era
Herman Reigelman, Army, Korean era.
Vincent Scibelli, Army, Korean era.
Frank Delano Shugarts, Air Force, Korean era.
Rudolph J. Subotka, Army, Vietnam era.
Edward A. Walsh III, Navy, Vietnam era.
Edward Thomas Williams, Marines, Vietnam era.
Herman S. Yassall, Army, Korean era.