Variety of Memorial Day activities set to honor veterans

Whether you are seeking a moment of solemn reflection, the spirited beat of a patriotic tune or the overhead roar of a B-25 bomber, it’s likely one of several Memorial Day events scheduled for this weekend will strike the right tone.

For the Capital City community, a Memorial Day service sponsored by the Jefferson City Veterans Council is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Jefferson City National Cemetery, in the pavilion near the Miller Street gate.

Jeremy Amick — who works as an assistant director with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service — is the keynote speaker. Amick said for him, Memorial Day serves as a renewed impetus to try and capture the stories of the past.

“For me, it’s a motivation to collect as many stories as I can from our living veterans — to record the firsthand accounts of the value of their military service — before those stories are lost to history,” Amick said.

In his remarks Monday, Amick plans to talk about two World War II veterans and three Vietnam veterans whom he admires.

“I’m very excited to be speaking, particularly because it’s the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, and we’re on the doorstep of the 100th anniversary of World War I,” he said.

Monday’s program will feature a “Two Bell Ceremony,” which allows participants to honor veterans who have died in the past year. The ceremony begins and ends with the ringing of two bells. During the ceremony, one bell is sounded at the calling of each veteran’s name, which signals a call for family and friends to come forward and place a poppy in the memorial wreath.

Other speakers at Monday’s ceremony are: president of the Jefferson City Veterans Council Don Hentges, Mayor Eric Struemph and Captain Greg Kindle from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Nicole Slusser — Amick’s sister — will sing a selection of songs including “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless the USA.”

Other public events around Mid-Missouri this weekend include:

• A patriotic and religious musical service coordinated by the Russellville community. The event is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. today at Enloe Cemetery, where flags have been placed at every veteran’s grave. The cemetery is located on Route C.

The Salute to Veterans Airshow at the Columbia Regional Airport. The show — which features numerous acrobatic demonstrations, parachute teams and historical aircraft — will continue today from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free.

• The Hartsburg American Legion and Auxiliary, Post 424, Memorial Day service. Participants will begin their march at the Legion Hall in Hartsburg at 9:20 a.m. Monday and will arrive at Friedens Cemetery 10 minutes later. There, participants will place flags on the graves of Legion members and poppies on the graves of Auxiliary members. Refreshments will follow at the Legion Hall.

• The Eldon VFW 2442 Memorial Day Service. This event, featuring guest speaker Tom Wright, starts at 11 a.m. Monday and is followed by a luncheon.

• A Memorial Day concert by the Jefferson City Community Symphonic Band. This free program — featuring patriotic instrumental music honoring America’s fallen soldiers, servicemen and servicewomen — begins at 1 p.m. Monday at First Christian Church, 327 E. Capital Ave.

• A Memorial Day concert called “A Salute to Fallen Heroes and Living Veterans.” This free program by the men’s chorus, Monticello, and the women’s ensemble, Liberte, begins at 3 p.m. Monday in the Missouri State Capitol Rotunda.

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