166th Aviation Command Chief Warrant
Officer Immanuel DelaCruz gave the keynote
speech at Kempner’s annual Memorial Day
service on Monday. DelaCruz has served a
total of 16 years overseas between Korea,
Japan and Germany. He has received a Bronze
Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal
with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal,
the Army Commendation Medal with five Oak
Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal
with two Oak Leaf Clusters, several service
and campaign ribbons, the Master Army
Aviation Badge and the Air Assault Badge.
DelaCruz quoted John 15:13: “Greater
love has no one than this, that he lay down
his life for his friends.”
He also reminded the audience, in the words
of Abraham Lincoln, that a nation that forgets
its heroes will not long endure.
Rev. Kenneth Foster Sellers Jr. of Kempner
United Methodist Church gave the welcome,
and Betty Parker led the invocation. The 62nd
Engineer Batallion posted the colors, and Mack
K. Ruszkiewicz led the Pledge of Allegiance. Alicia
Straley sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,”
Mayor Dr. Keith Harvey introduced DelaCruz.
Jennifer Fitzgerald led the playing of “Taps,”
and Lampasas Baptist Church Pastor David
Richardson gave the closing prayer. A program
given to those in attendance included the
poem, “No, Freedom Isn’t Free” by Cmdr. Kelly
Strong, U.S. Coast Guard (retired).
Names of Lampasas County's fallen veterans from several wars are inscribed on the monuments outside the courthouse, pictured here.
Also, Jimmie Glen Hamil of Lampasas County died of health complications resulting from exposure to Agent Orange during his service in Vietnam, according to his family.
Daniel Edward Holland was on a civil affairs mission with the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps when he was killed in Iraq in 2006.