The ceremony took place at the bridge on South State Street named in the soldier's honor

Members of VFW Post No. 3238 of Camden gathered Saturday, May 16 to pay tribute to U.S. Army Pvt. Clarence Vinson of Lebanon, Delaware. Vinson was killed in France days before the end of World War I.

The ceremony took place at a bridge on South State Street named in Vinson’s honor several years after his passing and included a floral tribute and a soldier’s silhouette. The group also cleaned the marble tablet celebrating Vinson’s life and sacrifice.

“We had to cancel our normal Memorial Day services for the community, but we still wanted to remember and memorialize those who have sacrificed for our country,” incoming Post Commander Larry Josefowski said.

In his remarks, Josefowski recalled Benjamin Franklin’s words that true greatness resides not in war but in achieving peace.

“It is in the spirit of that challenge that we offer this prayer, Almighty God, we stand here today to pay tribute to brave men and women who gave their all in service to our country,” Josefowski said. “Accept our thanksgiving for their sacrifice and that of their families, which have purchased for us a free land. Cause us never to take for granted their devotion to liberty.”

Post members in attendance included VFW Department Commander Marc Garduno, incoming Post Commander Larry Josefowski, Suzi Wilkerson of the Post Ladies Auxiliary, and Post Surgeon John Wilkerson.

The bridge ceremony was the first of two Memorial Day observances planned by Post 3238, Josefowski said.

The second is an annual event held at the Odd Fellows Cemetery, Camden, where Post members again will place American flags on the graves of veterans interred there. The flags will remain until Saturday, May 30.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. until noon, Josefowski said. Members of the public are encouraged to come out and help and will be asked to wear protective masks and practice social distancing.

The effort will conclude a short remembrance ceremony at Vinson’s grave, he added.

“We want to mark the day and provide people with a visual reminder that freedom isn’t free,” Josefowski said.