A test of character

Memorial Day speaker Lloyd Houk used his oratorial and pastoral skills to deliver a moving address. He talked of inherent threats to democracy.

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Local News

May 28, 2024 - 2:20 PM

Lloyd Houk, right, keynote speaker for Monday’s Memorial Day service at Iola’s Highland Cemetery, greets Gracie and Rusty Newman of Humboldt. Photo by Susan Lynn / Iola Register

Lloyd Houk used his oratorial and pastoral skills to deliver a moving Memorial Day address Monday morning at Iola’s Highland Cemetery.

“I have often been asked, ‘Why do we go to war?’ And the answer is so that we can keep oppression from our walk of life,” he said.

“Sadly, America is not the same. … We are living in a time when too many say it’s not my job to fight for our country, let someone else do it.”

A veteran of the Vietnam War, Houk said it’s within us all to fight to preserve our democracy and to elect leaders who put that as their goal.

“Too many of our leaders are more consumed with their own agenda, instead of representing us,” he said. 

Houk said the inherent danger of liberty is that it will be abused.

“There’s always the danger that some will do the wrong thing, the destructive thing, the sinful thing,” he said. Staying quiet in the face of such abuse “is the safe option.”

It takes character to stand up to discontents, which comes from a society that “values discipline and respect,” he said.

The Iola City Band played the national anthem and “America the Beautiful,” for the service. 

The Moran American Legion Firing Squad sounded the Salute for the Dead. 

Coordinating the morning service were members of the American Legion and Auxiliary Leslie J. Campbell Post no. 15 and Jones-Hardy Post No. 385; the 40 et 8 and Voiture No. 335 and Veterans of Foreign Wars and Auxiliary Will J. Ross: Post No. 6324. 

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