We Honor Two of Our Fallen
On Thursday, September 23, 2021, the Veterans Center held a lunch and memorial service honoring two of our long time attendees. These two were Douglas Duane Ellington and Gene Paul Cornthwaite. Both men were loyal and helpful regular attendees of the Center, and were among the most active in helping out whenever needed.
Doug was active in most events, often handling announcements at luncheons (which we conduct twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays) and as an accomplished musician, he provided music at special events and sometimes just to lift the spirits of whoever happened to be around. Doug was a quick wit as well and humor was a part of his everyday demeanor. He will be sorely missed.
Gene was a quiet man, but extremely sincere and helpful with projects here at the Center and was a driving force in helping to facilitate the new bathroom project we took on a couple of years back. His extensive knowledge of construction played a very helpful part in planning as well as execution in making that endeavor a success. You couldn't ask for a better friend to the group, and he will also be very missed.
Below are two tributes, written by loved ones as noted. Each will give you greater insight into the two men. You can click on the pictures to enlarge and make it easier to read.
A poem loved by Doug:
I'm Free, Author Unknown
"Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free,
I'm following paths God made for me.
I took his hand I heard him call,
Then turned, and bid farewell to all.
I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to sing, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I found my peace...at close of play.
And if my parting left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened...deep with sorrow,
I wish you sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full I've savored much.
Good friends, good times, A loved one's touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don't lengthen it now with grief.
Lift up your hearts and share with me,
God wants me now...He set me free"
The service and invocation was conducted by Veterans Community Center Chaplain, Pastor Brad Gunter of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Roseville.
About 25 were in attendance for the ceremony which was catered by Hewlett Packard volunteers who brought in BBQ lunch prepared by Back Forty BBQ in Roseville. It was both popular and much appreciated.
"Missing Man Table"
Also present for the ceremony was the traditional "Missing Man Table" presentation, also narrated by Pastor Brad. Below are photos of the table and the meaning of everything present on the display.
The meaning of the set up on the table is as follows:
The TABLE is small and set for one to show our everlasting concern for our missing men.
The TABLECLOTH is white symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty.
The SINGLE RED ROSE (two for both men in this case) displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing, and their loved ones and friends of these Americans who keep the faith, awaiting their return.
The VASE is tied with a yellow ribbon, symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing.
The CANDLE is lit reminiscent of the light of hope, which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, to the open arms of a grateful nation.
A SLICE OF LEMON is on the bread plate to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.
A PINCH OF SALT symbolizes the tears endured by those missing, and their families as they wait.
The BIBLE represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.
The GLASS is inverted to symbolize their inability to share this afternoon's toast.
The CHAIRS are empty - they are missing.
Another of our talented Vets, J.R. Evans, played his harmonica to a couple of tunes to honor the two as well and to lift the spirits of all in attendance.
It was a nice tribute to these two men, a Celebration of their Lives, and they will both be missed and remembered for their contributions to this group and this place, our Veterans Community Center.
James Newton Rounsavell is the Founder of Veterans Golf Park for Disabled Vets. Jim was a life long golfer and began to realize that golf could help disabled vets with PTSD and TBI, two very degrading but all too common syndromes that affect our Vets.
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