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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Memorial Day services at Resthaven and Fairview honor veterans

  • The Memorial Day service at Resthaven Memorial Park was co-sponsored with the American Legion Gill-Mattox Post 16. Joe Freeman, American Legion Past Commander gave the welcome along with Vicki Kreutzer of Resthaven.
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  • McCloud High School graduate Eric Warren, who served as a hospitalman for the U.S. Navy, died a year ago Sunday while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
     
    Eric was honored Monday at Resthaven Memorial Park by the American Legion. His mother, Donna, said she’s been thinking about Memorial Day and what that means to her. She said she doesn’t want to just remember Eric, but continue what he started.
     
    “I remember his smile and goodness, but I also want to bring forth his legacy,” Donna said.
     
    Eric was a healer not only on the outside, but the inside as well, she said. He was known as someone who kept the moral up among the soldiers.
     
    “He was a healer his whole life,” Donna said.
     
    Cecil Johnson, of Shawnee, is an Army World War II veteran that was awarded a medallion by his brother Chester, who is also a veteran. Chester brought the medallion from Colorado to present to his brother. Cecil said he doesn’t feel like he deserved it, but he is humbled.
     
    “It is an honor to receive it,” he said.
     
    The Memorial Day service at Resthaven Memorial Park was co-sponsored with the American Legion Gill-Mattox Post 16. Joe Freeman, American Legion Past Commander gave the welcome along with Vicki Kreutzer of Resthaven.
     
    Lynn Gray, deacon of Morningstar Baptist Church gave the invocation and Commander Tony Litherland gave the call for attention. Troop 408 and PAC 477 presented the posting of colors followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Freeman. Nathan Gay, of Morningstar Baptist Church, led the National Anthem and Litherland ended the salute.
     
    Tom Smith, DAV Adjutant, was the honored guest speaker and spoke about the importance of Memorial Day. He also offered some advice to parents of children considering joining military service.
     
    Freeman gave the call to attention and then Venture Crew 477 firing squad entered the field. The firing squad was commanded by Randy Patterson and included members Marshall Boehm, Tanner Rutzer, Heather McCowen, Valerie Curtis, Brianna Murray, Gene Patterson and Tyler Rutzer.
     
    Litherland and American Legion Ladies Auxillary Fran Wagoner led the ceremonial ‘laying of the wreath’ along with members of the Eric Warren family. Litherland gave a slow salute and call for attention, arise and hand salute was led by Freeman. The 21 gun salute was followed by Taps, performed by Ben Hensen, 408 Star Scout, and John King Veterans of Foreign Wars. Freeman retired the colors followed by an end salute call.
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    Honors were awarded followed by the benediction by Gray and closing remarks from Freeman.
     
    Memorial Day services continued at Fairview Cemetery under the direction of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Sr. Vice Commander Don Plumley led the ceremony.
     
    Representative Ron Sharp spoke at the ceremony about the importance of Memorial Day and also reminded everyone to keep the tornado victims in his or her thoughts and prayers. He read the following quote from Benjamin Harrison, “I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did.”
     
    Sharp said he was honored to be able to read the quote and speak at the ceremony.
     
    A wreath was presented in honor of soldiers who have given their lives. Chaplain Danny Brown led a prayer at the beginning and end of the ceremony.
     
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