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    The crowd assembles in the 1885 Historic Courthouse for the Memorial Day celebration.

Memorial Day celebrated in 1885 Historic Courthouse


The Shelby County Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8904 and the Auxiliary led the commemorative celebrations to the men who served and died during wars, from the Civil War through the war In Afghanistan.

Invocation was given by Aubie McSwain of First Christian Church and music throughout the service was provided by David Mathis, Minister of Worship and Education at First Baptist Church, Center. Presiding was Larry Hume, Quartermaster of VFW Post 8904.

Abigale Hooper, student at Joaquin High School read her “Voice of Democracy” Essay. Her essay received a 2nd prize at District competition.

Jheri-Lynn McSwain, Michelle Gomez, Fatima Romero, Reno Clark, Victoria Warren, Michele Clark, Jenny Salter, and Margaret Smith – all wearing 4-H T-shirts – presented Quilts of Valor to military veterans, A.J. Procell and Larry Hume.

Guest speaker for the event was Dan West, Past VFW State Commander Dan West. Mr. West served in the United States Marine Corps from 1983 to 1994 as an Infantryman, Platoon Sergeant, and Marine Drill Instructor. Since becoming a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1996, Mr. West has continued to be active in his local group and has been the recipient of many awards for his service. He quoted a famous Marine Commander who, although outnumbered by the enemy, replied to the question of what he would do with the famous, “We will hold.” He did, and Mr. West encouraged us all to apply this statement to our lives.

Following Mr. West’s speech, the VFW members and the Auxiliary members read aloud the names of Shelby County men who had died as a result of their service in the military. Artificial flowers of red, white and blue were placed in the memorial wreath by all in attendance who so wished.

The service was ended by the singing of “God Bless America” by Center Mayor Pro Tem Leigh Porterfield. Everyone then reassembled outside for the placing of the wreath, the raising of the flags, and the playing of “Taps” by VFW member John Piersoll.

East Texas Press

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