CHESTERFIELD — Veterans, their families and supporters gathered at the Chesterfield County Courthouse on Monday to honor the men and women who have served in the United States military.
An estimated 100-125 people attended the Memorial Day service including Veterans of Foreign Wars post commanders, state Rep. Richie Yow, Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks and Probate Judge Gail Ingram.
Marlboro County Assistant Sheriff Charles Lemon was the keynote speaker at the service. Lemon is a retired sergeant first class in the Army National Guard.
Both Lemon and his brother served in Iraq in 2005. Lemon served in the southern part of the country, while his brother, Staff Sgt. Jerome Lemon, served in the north.
A convoy commander with the Army National Guard’s Kingstree-based 1052nd Transportation Company, Jerome Lemon was killed in action when his unit hit an improvised explosive device in 2005. The 42-year-old father of three was a South Carolina state trooper in his civilian life.
Shortly after the death of his brother, Sgt. 1st Class Charles Lemon retired from the military. Lemon said his faith is what helped him through the difficult days following his brother’s death in the line of duty.
“God is good all the time,” he said. “He is the One who will get you through in times like this.”
Lemon spoke of his experiences and the loss of his brother at the memorial service, which he hailed as one of the most organized such events he’s never seen.
“Every post commander from the Chesterfield area was there,” Lemon said.
The VFW post commanders named soldiers that were killed in action or missing in action as well as veterans of past wars who had recently passed.
Reach reporter Randy Garner at 843-537-5261 and follow him on Twitter @CherawChronicle.