Memorial Day service at Texas State Cemetery


by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalist ERIN COKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

Posted on May 27, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Updated Monday, May 27 at 6:41 PM

AUSTIN -- It was a solemn salute to those who gave all during Monday's Memorial Day service at Texas State Cemetery.

"A lot of people would just think it's a holiday, but it's memorializing those who didn't come back," Veteran Dwight Harkey said.

Harkey served in the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood.

"I had some buddies in Vietnam," he said.

He often thinks about those who shipped off and never came home...he remembered them especially today.

During the service, Shelly Lemkowitz held the flag given to her when her father, Lt. Colonel William Lemkowitz, died in 1997.

"He would have really appreciated this, in knowing that these people gave their lives in honor for us to have our civil freedom," Lemkowitz said.

Aside from the ceremony at the Texas State Cemetery, people took time to walk around the graves, honoring and remembering others buried here.

Margaret Dumont paid special attention to the confederate soldiers buried here.

"Way back to the early 1800s, some of the people who helped found Texas, the fight for independence," Dumont said. "To me, that's as impressive as the large stones erected to well-known public figures."

The ceremony included American and folk music, and soldiers in revolutionary war dress, as young and old gathered to honor and hear some history.

"The Korean War was the forgotten war, and ours was the unpopular war," Harkey said. "You didn't wear your uniform home, when I was in the Army, because people would make fun of you and shout obscenities."

He said it was a hard time to be in service, but that he's always been proud.

"I've been thanked for my service more the last two years, or more today than I was the whole time I was in the Army," he said.

Harkey said he is grateful attitudes have changed and that ceremonies like this exist so that the lessons will never die.