Memorial Day event honors sacrifice

Courtesy photo

Members of the Wills Point Historical Society, including Herschel LyBrand and Mike Goggans, placed approximately 61 white crosses sponsored by family members and friends of deceased veterans at Ollie Webb Park along Highway 80 this past week. Each of the crosses is adorned with the name of a veteran along with their branch of service and rank.

Canton’s new mayor Lou Ann Everett, Brigadier General Howard N. Palmer, Jr., Commander, Army Componet Command Texas State Guard, a 21-gun salute and an airplane flyover are all part of the Memorial Day program planned for 10 a.m. Monday, May 25, at the Van Zandt County Veterans Memorial Plaza in Canton.

Everett will serve as mistress of ceremonies for the event that will also include presentation of the colors by the East Texas Stampede 4H Equestrian team.

“Last year we were all treated to a missing man, three-plane flyover, much to everyone's delight. So, this year, four local area private planes will be in the air again for all to see as they fly over,” said Diane Farmer, Veterans Memorial public relations chairman.

Pastor Dan Torina of Grace Fellowship Church will lead the opening prayer and M/Sgt Bob Borth, USAF Ret. will read “The Veteran.”

Lt. Colonel Field McConnell, Retired USAF, with 1st Sgt. Mark “Omar” Bradley, US Army, Retired, will read the names of the Van Zandt County residents killed in action.

Van Zandt County Judge, Don Kirkpatrick will make closing remarks.

Some chairs will be provided, but organizers said those attending should plan on bringing their own lawn chairs to insure seating. Do not park on the grass and we look forward to seeing everyone there to Honor/Remember Our Veterans.

The National Anthem will be sung by Barbara Cooper and the flag will be raised by the 19th Regiment of the Texas State Guard.

Ridge Taylor will play “Taps.”

A 21-gun salute will be performed by the Canton Police Honor Guard and members of the 19th Regiment of the Texas State Guard.

 “Once again we will hear the names of the students who took first, second, third and honorable mention in the Student Art Contest,” Farmer said. “There are awards for three levels of participation/ grades first through third, grades fourth through sixth, and grades seventh and eighth. Many entries were submitted again this year, and the judging was difficult among these talented young artists. They do a suburb job.”

The chairman for the contest was Lanita Newberry.

Brookshire's will be on hand for some hot dogs. The Veterans of Foreign Wars and Ladies Auxiliary Post 9171 of Canton will be at the entrance walkway with Buddy Poppies.  These small red flowers represent the blood shed by the Veterans to ensure our Freedoms and are made by Disabled Veterans. This helps with needed therapy.

The VFW and Auxiliary will also be in front of the Tractor Supply Saturday May 23 with Buddy Poppies. Tractor Supply is a national sponsor to help with these Buddy Poppy drives. You can also sign cards to a veteran to be sent to various veterans around the world, Farmer said. 

“We hope to see you at these events and help us Remember our veterans, past, present and in the future,” she said.