Memorial Day celebrations return
Traditional, in-person Memorial Day remembrance ceremonies in Lockhart have returned from a yearlong COVID-19-imposed hiatus.
A Memorial Day remembrance to honor those who died while serving in the military will be held at the Caldwell County Courthouse at 110 Main Street in Lockhart on Monday, May 31 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m, with a ceremony held on the south side steps of the courthouse.
“This year, I had to promise my wife I wouldn’t get upset,” chuckled event organizer and Caldwell County Veteran Service Officer Dr. Al Dos Santos, who was moved to tears while acting as a fill-in speaker in 2019. “All I had was a paper towel with me.”
Taking the role of speaker this year will be the entirety of the Caldwell County Commissioners Court, who have each been invited to share a few words about what Memorial Day means to them.
In addition to the speeches, there will be a color guard and a singing of the national anthem. Those who are interested in sharing a short speech are invited to call 512-398-6492.
One thing that will be a reminder of COVID-19’s lingering effects: those attending are asked to bring their lawn chairs to sit in if they don’t wish to stand. No chairs will be available because they would each need wiping down afterward.
In addition to honoring the fallen, Dos Santos works to help the living as a veterans service officer, he says.
“Our office is always open so we can help any veterans we can,” Dos Santos said. “For me, personally, I’ve retired three times and I don’t need the work. God, family and veterans — that’s been my philosophy for the last six years. We’re expanding to help Caldwell County’s needs. We have a lot of new people coming in, and we need programs that are meaningful to them. Is it going to happen overnight? No, it takes time.
“There are older people who aren’t computer literate and have no wi-fi who need advocates to help them. Most days, you’ll find me here at 6:15 a.m.”
As for the Memorial Day celebration, Dos Santos said he hopes for a good attendance and remains optimistic that next year’s celebration can more closely resemble previous ceremonies.
“Hopefully, next year can open back up to where it was, and serve a meal like we did at the American Legion,” Dos Santos said. “We come together to remember the veterans who gave their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom we have today. Memorial Day is not just for selling furniture.”
Memorial Day Walk
Also returning this year: the annual LCpl Stanley/Cpl LaFleur Memorial Walk in downtown Lockhart.
The walk to honor the country’s fallen and to bring the community together, raising awareness for U.S. service members and veterans will be held from 9-11 a.m. in downtown Lockhart, meeting at Kreuz Market.
Participants are asked to wear green and bring a water source.