DALLAS — Five-year-old Kyle Tompkins of Kingston Township held an American flag in one hand and a bag of candy that he had gathered in the other on Monday as he watched the Memorial Day parade passing by.
Tompkins and his parents, Greg and Paula, were among hundreds who lined Main Street for the Daddow-Isaac Dallas American Legion Post 672 parade that was well represented by the Boy and Cub scouts, Brownies and Back Mountain emergency response departments.
No matter how large the observance — 15 people at the Sugar Notch Memorial Service at the veterans monument, 50 people at a church service in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Hanover Township and thousands at the Kingston/Forty Fort parade — Memorial Day locally was a day to honor deceased U.S. veterans.
Tompkins gathered candy thrown from parade participants while holding his flag. His father reminded him a few times not to let the U.S. symbol touch the ground.
“It’s out of respect, little man,” Greg Tompkins said.
At 3 p.m., everyone was to pause for a moment of silence to honor veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
U.S. Naval Lt. Cmdr. (Ret.) Susan Allen was the principal speaker at services held at the Woodlawn Cemetery on Woodlawn Avenue in Dallas and Chapel Lawn Cemetery in Dallas Township after the parade.
Allen said the National Moment of Remembrance Act signed into law in 2000 encourages citizens to stop what they are doing at 3 p.m. and pay respect to those killed while defending the United States.
“A moment of remembrance is a step in the right direction in ensuring the meaning of Memorial Day is not lost,” Allen said. “Set aside one day out of the year to honor the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our great nation.”
It was difficult to see the green grass at Chapel Lawn and St. Mary’s cemeteries as thousands of American flags covered the landscape marking deceased veterans’ graves.
The following is a list of military fatalities in American warfare, according to the Congressional Research Service and the U.S. Department of Defense:
* Revolutionary War, 1775-1783: 4,435
* War of 1812, 1812-1815: 2,260
* Mexican War, 1846-1848: 13,283
* Civil War — Union forces only, 1861-1865: 364,511
* Spanish-American War, 1898-1901: 2,446
* World War I, 1917-1918: 116,516
* World War II, 1941-1946: 405,399
* Korean War, 1950-1953: 36,574
* Vietnam War, 1964-1973: 58,220
* Persian Gulf War, 1990-1991: 383
* Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003-2010: 4,422
* Operation New Dawn, 2010-2011: 66
* Operation Enduring Freedom, 2001-present: 2,220