Monette annual Memorial Day services held May 25

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
The veterans of the Monette American Legion gathered at the Monette Cemetery to pay tribute to past and present veterans and their families. Picture are, from left: Front - Jerry Reed, Robin Ashley, Larry Rolland and Danny Strickland. Back - Marie George, Dick Pace, Robert Chambers, Ronnie Qualls and Bob Blankenship.

Town Crier News Staff

The Monette American Legion held its annual Memorial Day tribute to veterans both past and present on Sunday, May 25, at the Monette Cemetery.

Legion member Jerry Reed welcomed the large crowd of veterans, the families and community members to the annual tribute. Reed led the opening prayer and placed the U.S. flag.

The American Legion Honor Guard honored deceased veterans with a 21 gun salute. Honor Guard members are Ronnie Qualls, Danny Strickland, Larry Rolland, Dick Pace, Robert Chambers and is lead by Sergeant Robin Ashley.

"The colors of this flag may fade," Reed said. "But it will always be a symbol of freedom. I place this flag in honor of all the veterans."

Reed then called upon the Color Guard who presented the American flag and the American Legion flag. The Color Guard included Larry Rolland and Robert Chambers along with two arms bearers, Danny Strickland and Dick Pace.

Following the Color Guard, the Honor Guard led by Honor Guard Commander Sergeant Robin Ashley paid tribute to veterans who have passed away with a 21 gun salute. During the salute Taps was played by Bob Blankenship. Honor Guard consisted of veterans Ronnie Qualls, Danny Strickland, Larry Rolland, Dick Pace and Robert Chambers.

Special speaker Kent McDaniel spoke about the importance of veterans and how despite the possibility of injury or even death they serve this country to make sure freedom is upheld. McDaniel spoke of a veteran he knew growing up name Jim Flowers. He said Flowers had a deferment that would keep him from having to go to war but he chose to serve anyway.

"I asked him if he had any regrets about serving and losing his legs," McDaniel said. "Jim told me his only regret would have been if he hadn't done his part. If we all do our part we will continue to be a free country."

The American Legion Honor Guard cutline Color Guard The Monette American Legion Color Guard presented flags during the Legion's annual Memorial Day tribute held Sunday, May 25, at the Monette Cemetery. Color Guard members pictured are, from left: Dick Pace, Larry Rolland, Robert Chambers and Danny Strickland.

McDaniel then shared some information about the cemetery at Normandy, which opened a year and a half after WWII. He spoke about how the men and women that give their lives in battle could have gone on to do great things, live normal lives, and had years to experience life but they chose to sacrifice instead so that we would not have to.

"On behalf of the Monette American Legion Post we want to thank you for coming," Robert Chambers, Legion veteran, said in closing. "Many don't know what this day means. It is to honor those who sacrifice and their families who sacrifice for us and our country so that we can be free. Each solider is a hero that is willing to serve. They accept the sacrifice of being a solider and so do their family and children. Memorial Day is to remember those soldiers have served and are currently serving to keep us free. This country has been in 12 wars, 13 now counting Afghanistan.

Their sacrifices cannot be repaid. Today and every day say thank you to this country's veterans."

Chambers then lead the closing prayer bring to an end the annual Memorial Day tribute.

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