Memorial Day Observed for 2018

Thursday, May 31, 2018
The honor guard for the Memorial Day wreath ceremony at the Piggott Cemetery this year included, from left: Steve Tate, Commander of VFW Post #4572, Rose Crafton, Auxiliary president of VFW Post #4572 and Joe Spinks, Senior Vice Commander of VFW Post #4572.
TD photo/Tim Blair

Memorial Day was observed across America this past weekend, as a grateful nation paused to remember those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice. Special ceremonies were held in cemeteries and at monuments across the country, including the traditional local observances.

Preparations for the event actually began Thursday with the placement of American flags on the graves of veterans, with volunteers handling the chore. A dedicated group of local residents gathered at Woodland Heights in Rector Thursday morning to honor those who have served and placed a total of 814 flags on veteran's graves, while young athletes from PHS handled the task at the Piggott Cemetery.

Continuing a tradition which began several years ago, the Mohawk athletes fanned-out across the rolling hills of the cemetery. When the tradition first began only football players participated, with others joining later. This year there were members of the football, baseball, softball, girl's basketball, volleyball and boys basketball programs in attendance along with their coaches. Staff members report there were 818 flags placed by the Mohawks this year.

At Woodland Heights, Sunday's ceremony was held at the flagpole, and this year's special guest speaker was Dale Garrett, police chief and volunteer services officer for the John J. Pershing V.A. Medical Center in Poplar Bluff. The traditional annual Memorial Day sermon was presented by Brother Boyce Cate, of Piggott, and the financial report was presented.

The ceremony at Piggott included the opening prayer and remarks by local attorney, and historian, Joe Cole, with Fred Ort providing the financial report for the Cemetery Association. Scott Hartwell was re-elected to another term on the board and will be joined by new members Jim Parks and Debbie Baker.

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