Memorial Day 2019 was commemorated Monday, May 27, with a ceremony at the Parker Cemetery. The event was sponsored by the Freeman H. Sharp American Legion Post 70 and the Eddie May Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7061.
The event included a flag-raising ceremony, the laying of a wreath, a rifle squad saluting the departed, and the playing of “Taps.”
Music was provided by Kee and Becky Kaibetony of Jericho Way Ministries. Kee gave a history of how Francis Scott Key wrote the “Star Spangled Banner” during the bombardment of Fort McHenry near Baltimore, Md. During the War of 1812.
There was also the presentation of the empty chair. Master of Ceremonies T.J. Laffoon said the chair represented POW-MIAs. Laffoon said veterans’ groups have been and continue to call for a full accounting of those in America’s wars who are still missing in action.
The event was held just one day after the structure housing VFW Post 7061 was destroyed by a fire. Current Post Commander John Maye and Incoming Post Commander Josh Philipps stated the post will be rebuilt.
Memorial Day was established to honor those who lost their lives in fighting America’s wars. The American Legion and VFW posts involved in the Parker ceremony were both named for American military personnel who lost their lives in World War II.
Laffoon thanked everyone who attended the ceremony. He added he hoped everyone would remember those who lost their lives to secure America’s freedom. He asked them to remember what was involved.
“These weren’t just names on plaques or monuments,” he said. “There were real people. They left behind grieving families.”