Local veterans plan Memorial Day programs

Published 11:06 pm Friday, May 28, 2010

Three Memorial Day programs on Monday will honor those who lost their lives in service to their country.

American Legion Post 70 of Troy will host the annual Memorial Day program at 11 a.m. at Bicentennial Park in Troy and VFW Post 7055 of Brundidge will host the annual events at 9 a.m. at the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library in Brundidge and at 11 a.m. at Elam Cemetery in Elamville.

“We have two holidays that are devoted solely to those who have served our country,” said Bob McLendon, American Legion Post 70 commander. “Veterans Day honors all of those who have served. Memorial Day honors those who paid the supreme sacrifice to their country so it is a much more solemn occasion.”

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Captain William D. Barron USN (Retired) will be the featured speaker at Bicentennial Park and Teresa Jernigan, caseworker at Congressman Bobby Bright’s Ozark office, will be the featured speaker at the Elam Cemetery program.

There will be no speaker at the Brundidge program.

The program at Bicentennial Park will the feature placing of the Memorial Wreath at the Memorial Wall by Katie Hale, president of the American Legion Post 70 Ladies Auxiliary and Tom Hale USN (Retired). Hale will also recognize the additions to the Memorial Wall and flags.

“Before the Memorial Day program, at 10 o’clock, we will add six names to the Memorial Wall,” Hale said. “The names of Joel Witherington, Durwood Kelly, Oscar Griffith, Herbert King, Richard W. Insley and George Blue Barber will be added. Then, during the Memorial Day program at 11 o’clock, the families of those deceased veterans will place flags in their honor in the Parade of Flags.”

Another special feature of the Memorial Day service in Troy is the recognition of Gold Star Mothers.

“A Gold Star Mother is one who has lost a son or daughter in service to our country,” McLendon said.

“This year, the names of the men from Pike County who were killed in action or died after being wounded will be read. This is the first time these names have been read but we believe that it is fitting that this should be done.”

McLendon and Dennis Griffith, adjutant, Post 70, will read the names from World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. (See a listing on today’s Lifestyle page.)

The Brundidge Memorial Day program will feature the placing of a memorial wreath and a time of prayer and silent remembrance.

The Elam Cemetery program will be held at the final resting place of 60 area veterans. Family members have a special invitation to attend.

Following the Memorial Day program at Elam Cemetery, everyone is invited to a shared dinner at the fellowship hall of Elam Baptist Church.