Manila Memorial Day ceremony held at Herman Davis Monument
Manila American Legion Post 197 hosted a Memorial Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday, May 29, at the Herman Davis Monument. John Lutes, Post 197 Commander, welcomed guests, veterans and family members.
Lutes gave a history of Memorial Day and why it is celebrated.
“Memorial Day is a tribute to those who died serving our country in the military,” he said. “It was originally a day set aside to honor the casualties of the Civil War.”
He said today Memorial Day honors those who have gave their lives in the Spanish War, World War I, World War II, Korean, Vietnam and all wars since.
Lutes also recognized the Manila Police officers and members of the Manila Volunteer Fire Department.
Boy Scout Troop 32 presented the Colors for the ceremony held in remembrance of the men and women who gave their all for their country.
Judy Hampton sang the National Anthem and Boy Scout Troop 32 led in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Tom Knowlton of Wyoming played the bag pipes.
Lutes introduced Representative Johnny Rye and his wife, Julie. Rep. Rye represents District 54 made up of parts of Mississippi County and Poinsett County.
“This is an important day for us to remember the veterans who gave their all,” Rep. Rye said. “We should also remember their family members.”
Rep. Rye gave the meaning of the symbolic MIA/POW table set up near the monument. It is a small table in a place of honor set for one.
“This table is our way of symbolizing the fact that members of our profession of arms are missing from our midst. They are commonly called POWs or MIAs, we call them 'brothers.' They are unable to be with us this evening, and so we remember them. This table set for one is small -- symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his oppressors. Remember!
"The tablecloth is white -- symbolizing the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms. Remember!
"The single red rose displayed in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones of our comrades-in-arms who keep the faith awaiting their return. Remember!
"The red ribbon tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn upon the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting of our missing. Remember!
"The Candle, the candle is lit -- symbolizing the upward reach of their unconquerable spirit. Remember!
"A slice of lemon is on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate. Remember!
"There is salt upon the bread plate -- symbolic of the families’ tears as they wait. Remember!
"The glass is inverted -- They cannot toast with us this night, Remember!
"The chair -- the chair is empty. They are not here. Remember!
"All of you who served with them and called them comrades, who depended upon their might and aid, and relied upon them, for surely, they have not forsaken you, remember! Until the day they come home, remember!”
“Let's never forget their sacrifices,” Rye said. “Never forget our veterans. A country who does forget will not stand.”
Brother Jeff Knowlton, pastor of Little River Baptist Church, read the scripture John 15:13, greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for a friend, before offering a closing prayer.
Russell Page ended the ceremony playing Taps on the bugle.
All veterans and guests were invited to the American Legion Post 197 for refreshments.