ROCKLAND — Those who spoke Monday, May 30, at the annual Memorial Day ceremony in Rockland spoke of the sacrifices their friends, relatives, and fellow citizens made over more than 200 years.

“Death is final and ultimate,” said Winslow-Holbrook-Merritt American Legion Post Second Vice Commander David Sulin. “We cannot bring these individuals back, but we can honor their memory and we can pay homage to their sacrifices. As words are inadequate to express our gratitude toward those mothers’ sons and daughters who never returned home to enjoy the wonderful smell of a refreshing pine laden breeze or feel the sting of a brisk wind off the ocean, we must express our gratitude and honor the dead with something more meaningful, and something more worthy of such sacrifice. We must live our lives as good decent Americans in a manner that our fallen would approve.”

The ceremony was held next to the Soldiers and Sailors Civil War flagpole at Chapman Park at the intersection of Park and Main streets. Attendance was larger this year as sunny skies replaced past years of cold and rain.

Post Commander Russell Wolfertz served in the Vietnam War and noted more than 58,000 servicemen and servicewomen died in that conflict. He talked of the camaraderie of those who served. He said the service of those men and women is why the United States is a free country.

Rockland Poet Laureate Emerita Carol Bachofner read a sonnet she created for Memorial Days — “A Wreath, A Flag, the Soldier’s Time.” Her father served in World War II, was a prisoner of war and received a purple heart.

Post Chaplain Sharon Heine offered opening and closing prayers.

Sergeant at Arms Carroll Gifford placed a wreath at the monument at Park and Main street while Taps played. Gifford was accompanied by Gabriel and Graham Wolfertz, the grandsons of Post Commander Russell Wolfertz.

The Bay Winds North Wind Ensemble band performed at the ceremony.

Burpee Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home donated the sound system for the ceremony.


Post Chaplain Sharon Heine offered opening and closing prayers.