Ceremonies honor those who serve

By: Gloria Beverage, Placer Herald Editor
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Gloria Beverage Placer Herald Editor Monday?s Memorial Day ceremonies paid tribute not only to those who gave their lives for this country, but also to those who continue to fight for freedom in America. ?America?s law enforcement and the armed forces share an important and symbiotic relationship,? said Rocklin Police Chief Ron Lawrence. ?They share many duties and a lot of the responsibility. They are a symbol of our freedom and democracy in America.? The armed forces, he continued, serve as the first line of defense for the preservation of democracy. ?I think law enforcement is the second line of defense ? defending the Constitution inside our borders,? he said. ?The third line of defense is you. You serve by performing your civic duties every day and by being at events just like this.? Lawrence pointed out that 58,000 people reside in Rocklin, but only about 300 people attended the ceremonies at the Rocklin Cemetery. ?A lot of Americans are out fishing right now or playing golf. A lot have forgotten what this day is all about. They?ve gotten lazy. They?ve chosen to do something else with their weekend. I?m proud of you and thank you for being here today.? Lawrence went on to pay tribute to the memory of Rocklin Police Officer Matt Redding, who was killed in the line of duty in 2005. ?There is no greater honor than to pay tribute to our fallen heroes,? he said, looking to Redding?s parents, John and Marilyn, who were guests of honor at the event. ?Our son grew up in this community. He attended high school in this community. He played ball on our baseball fields,? said John Redding. ?He took after his mom and his grandma, but he was loved and shaped by this community. He gave his life for this community. And he wore his police uniform with great pride.? Veterans of Foreign Wars Vice Commander Russell Holland, who served as emcee, reminded attendees that the tradition of honoring American veterans began in 1865 as Decoration Day. It became known as Memorial Day in 1960. In preparation for Monday?s ceremonies, Holland pointed out that Boy Scouts had placed crosses and American flags on the graves of veterans throughout the cemetery. Holland went on to acknowledge the flyover tribute from Beale Air Force at the beginning of the ceremonies. He also recognized active and former members from all branches of the armed forces. ?The men and women of our armed forces are, without a doubt, the finest in the world,? he said.