Honors for veterans lined up Wednesday
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Festivities scheduled to honor those who have served in the U.S. military will continue this evening and culminate on Wednesday.
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• Entertainment — Vicksburg Intermediate School, 6 p.m., fifth- and sixth-graders will sing for veterans.
• Breakfast — Warren Central High School, 8 a.m.; Col. Gary E. Johnston, speaker.
• Purple Heart Memorial dedication — 11 a.m., Vicksburg Memorial Rose Garden; Col. David D. Hollands, chief of staff, 412th Engineer Command, speaker.
• Free day — Admission to the Vicksburg National Military Park is free all day.
Scroll down to read the poem “In Flanders Fields”
At 6 tonight, fifth- and sixth-graders at Vicksburg Intermediate School will give a musical program to the veterans and their families.
The program will also feature a slide show of students’ family members who are in the military.
On Wednesday, events will kick off with a breakfast for veterans at 8 a.m. at Warren Central High School. All veterans and their family members are invited.
Col. Gary E. Johnston, commander of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, will speak during the event featuring music by the school choir and the Big Blue Band.
At 11 a.m., the formal dedication of the Purple Heart Memorial will take place at the Vicksburg Memorial Rose Garden. The dedication marks the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Retired Col. Benny Terrell will be the master of ceremonies and the JROTC from Vicksburg High and Warren Central High schools will open with a presentation of colors.
Members of the Hill City Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart will present the unveiling of the Purple Heart Monument following a proclamation by Mayor Paul Winfield.
Following will be a speech by Col. David D. Hollands, chief of staff of the 412th Engineer Command, and Jim Bryant of American Legion Post 3 will read the poem “In Flanders Field,” penned during World War I.
A Georgetown University graduate, Hollands has been stationed in Germany in a variety of positions during the Cold War, participated in the “Hail Mary Attack” during Operation Desert Storm and served during the Los Angeles riots of 1992.
Hollands’ military awards include the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Award and the Army Meritorious Service Award among many others.
He and his wife, Karina, have two daughters, and they live in Plano, Texas.
Also, the chapter will present a plaque to Betty Wilson, the widow of Warren County Sheriff’s Deputy Tom Wilson, who was killed in a car wreck in May.
The 412th Engineer Command in Vicksburg will present a 21-gun salute and “Taps” to close out the ceremony.
Also, the Vicksburg National Military Park will waive entry fees for visitors Wednesday.
Contact Manivanh Chanprasith at email@example.com
In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.