The Wyoma Lions Club of Lynn held their 16th Annual Memorial Day Tree Service on Saturday, May 28th on the front lawn of the Lynn Public Library. The ceremony, which is usually held on the Commons with the lighting of the Wyoma Club’s Memorial Tree, was moved to the Library with permission of the Mayor and the Library trustees due to extensive renovations presently being made to the Commons.
The Lynn English JROTC Marine Corps Color Guard, which is led by Sgt. Major Ken Oswald, posted the Colors. Treasurer Bob Hartshorn opened the ceremony by leading a substantial group of Lions and supporters in the Pledge of Allegiance. Joining the group, with their hands over their hearts, were Lynn City Ward 5 Councilor Dianna Chakoutis, Maria Carrasco (School Committee), and Brian LaPierre, Councilor-at-Large.
An Invocation was given by Wyoma Lion, Rev. James Guy of the Mount Olive First Church of God in Christ. Everyone then joined in with “One verse of America”, led by King Lion Mike Gmitter, who was attired in his Navy dress blues. The choir from the Mount Olive Church sang a musical selection in memory of those whose names will appear on the board for the next seven days.
John Harkness, Vice Commander of the Franco-American AMVETS Post #161 was this year’s guest speaker. He dedicated this year’s ceremony to Arthur Salkins. Arthur Salkins was a United States Air Force Veteran who served during the Vietnam War and then spent the rest of his life serving his fellow Veterans in many different capacities, including his role as Commander of Post 161. Arthur once said, “Nothing means more to me than serving and helping the veterans. I’ve dedicated my life to that.” Arthur had the honor of serving as the Grand Marshall in the 2014 Memorial Day Parade. His devotion to the needs of American Veterans in the City of Lynn was unmatched. The dedication was followed by a musical tribute to all of our Armed Services. President Mike Gmitter next introduced Donna Hartshorn, Vice President of Shoe City Lions, who read the powerful words of the inspirational poem, “The Dash” written by Linda Ellis.
Wyoma Lions Vice President, Kathy Harrell, and Past District Governor, Randy Pinch, then presented the individual reading of almost 400 names of those being remembered by their loved ones. Each name, which was also posted on three large Memorial Boards displayed on the front lawn of the Library, was followed by the tolling of the Lions’ bell by President Mike Gmitter to salute each of the honorees.
The ceremony concluded with the ever somber and emotional “TAPS” played by Lynn Public School Band member Justus DeJesus, who was sponsored by the club to the Lions All State Band this spring.
The Wyoma Lions Club thanks all those who supported this year’s program by submitting the names of their loved ones to be remembered in a most deserving and respectful manner.