By RICK HAYES email@example.com
---- — MT. VERNON — Memorial Day Services have been scheduled in several communities.
Although Monday is the official Memorial Day observance, the tributes to veterans will actually begin on Sunday when the 15th annual Memorial Day service will be held at Knob Prairie Cemetery, one mile north and one-quarter mile west of Waltonville.
Master Sgt. Leo Shaeffer of Waltonville has been enlisted as the featured speaker at Waltonville for the 1 p.m. service. Shaeffer, still on active duty, has served one tour in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan, according to service organizer Joe Norris. Shaeffer has been an active servicemen in the Army for 23 years.
Several services have also been scheduled Monday in the communities of Mt. Vernon, Woodlawn and Bluford.
In Mt. Vernon, a service will be held at 10 a.m. on the north side of the courthouse lawn, sponsored by American Legion Post 141.
According to a Legion spokesman, there will be a firing squad and a featured speaker. Chaplain Ernie Collins will be providing the invocation. Other service details were not immediately available. Girl Scouts and Young Marines will be decorating the crosses and stones on Saturday in preparation for the service.
The courthouse lawn will contain the names of 102 veterans who have passed away in the past year, the spokesman added.
In Woodlawn, a flag-raising ceremony has been tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m., according to Clarence Duckworth. No other plans have been scheduled at this time.
And in Bluford, a service will be held at noon at the Veterans Memorial on the village hall grounds sponsored by Bluford American Legion Post 1193. Village Board Member Mike Bullard will be the featured speaker. Post 141 of Mt. Vernon will provide the color guard.
A new concrete walkway, concrete (granite) bench, and a granite cross in memory of the unknown soldier were recently added to the Veterans Memorial, and paid for with community donations.
“This whole memorial concrete was poured by Ed Greenwalt. He’s one of the best concrete finishers in the area,” said Bullard. Greenwalt also poured the original concrete for the memorial.