Memorial Day - a day of remembrance

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Town Crier News Staff

Monette American Legion hosted a Memorial Day tribute to veterans on Sunday, May 27, at the Monette Cemetery.

Post Commander Larry Drummond welcomed the veterans and their families in attendance. He placed an American flag in the soil, signifying the beginning of the special tribute.

Color Guard participants were Bill Craig, Bob George, Claude Earl Barnett and Larry Rolland carrying the U.S. flag, American Legion Post flag, and rifles.

Marie George led the group in singing "America the Beautiful" and "God Bless America."

The Honor Guard fired three volleys to honor the veterans, alive and deceased. The guard consisted of veterans, Oscar Redding, Bob Blankenship, Larry Rolland, Bill Craig, Josh Tompkins, and Bob Chambers, with Robin Ashley as Sergeant of Arms. Taps was played following the salute.

USMC Sgt. Roy White addressed the visitors, sharing first hand experiences from the battle in Iraq.

"I was born in Blytheville and raised in Manila," White said. "Home and family means so much to all of us who are serving in Iraq. I have just finished my third tour of duty there. All we really have over there is the fine group of brothers and sisters fighting with you and your loved ones back home.

"Letters and communication from back home means so much. We get so excited to hear from people who care about us. You all have been great to send packages and letters to us. We need to be reminded of who and what we are fighting for. Your coming out here today shows us that you care, and that you remember the soldiers."

Rev. Jerry Reed, of the Monette United Methodist Church, led the prayer for the soldiers and their families.

"These flags here today may fade, but the spirit for which they stand will never fade," Reed said.

Rev. Rusty Bird, of the Monette First Baptist Church, spoke to those gathered about "The History and Meaning of Memorial Day."

"We have fought and will have to fight again," Bird said. "Servicemen will be called on to stand up for our country, and to stand up for our Lord."

Rev. Bird read battle statistics about the service men and women who answered the call to serve and those killed in battle.

"We have come to honor these brave men and women and for what that have done to keep our country free," Bird said.

Janet Rolland gave a Monette Cemetery report. Marsha Chambers, Shirley Bronaugh, and Rolland serve on the Monette Cemetery committee.

"We depend upon donations and sales of burial plots to maintain the cemetery," Rolland said. "It costs us about $15,000 a year to keep up the cemetery. We depend on sales of lots and donations to pay the cost of upkeep."

A special offering was taken for the cemetery and over $400 was donated to the cemetery fund.

Legion members placed American flags on veterans' graves at the Monette and Macey Cemeteries on Sunday morning, May 27. Flags were placed along Monette main street on Saturday, May 26.

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