MT. JEWETT – Christopher Bierbower, SSgt United States Army Infantry was the keynote speaker for the Mt. Jewett Memorial Day Program which was held immediately after the parade. After being introduced by Master of Ceremonies SSgt Kevin Kost, Bierbower gave thanks to Patrick Eaton Commander of VFW Post 6347 and everyone for coming out to help honor all the brave men and women past and present who served our country.
"First and foremost it is a true honor and privilege to be standing up here [Monday] addressing a supportive community as this," Bierbower said. "I never thought that at some point I would be the one standing in front of a memorial service attempting to pay proper tribute on this somber day in our nation.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day in remembrance of all those lost during the Civil War, but became better known as Memorial Day and recognized as a national holiday in the United States saluting all those that have fallen in the fight for liberty.
"It was a difficult choice in what I was going to use for my speech," Bierbower said. "I had thought of several approaches. Using inspirational quotes or other words but, then it hit me and I realized I was walking down the wrong path. So instead I'll explain to you what this day means to me as a combat veteran."
As Bierbower reflected on his true realization of what this day means to him, he recalled the summer of 2005 while serving in the Al Anbar province of Iraq as an infantry soldier.
"I was only 19 years old and the events from that summer will be memories that last a lifetime," Bierbower said. "Sadly, 2005 was one of the deadliest in the Iraq War and in our area enemy contact was a daily experience."
As his sister company came under attack his patrol came to assist and by the end of this tragic incident they had lost 11 of their brothers and had 20-plus who were wounded.
See full article by purchasing the May 29 edition of The Kane Republican.