Parade, ceremonies to area honor veterans

Saturday, November 6, 2004

With a parade, school ceremonies and a dedication, Southeast Missouri veterans will be far from forgotten this Veterans Day.

The most visible remembrance will be a parade at 9 a.m. Thursday that starts at Lorimier Street and Broadway and ends up at Capaha Park's Freedom Corner. Some more low-key events leading up to Thursday will also honor area veterans.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, Scott City will hold a dedication ceremony at Lightener Cemetery with a reception to follow at the city's VFW Hall.

During the ceremony, the cemetery's gazebo will be dedicated to all who have served in the armed forces. Speaking will be Scott City Mayor Tim Porch, police chief Don Cobb, who recently returned from service in Iraq, and World War II veteran Joe Sanders.

Area schools are also taking part in Veterans Day activities.

The Scott City School District will hold its Veterans Day ceremony at 8 a.m. Wednesday in the auditorium with the school band and choir performing. Guest speakers will be Cobb and Scott County Associate Circuit Judge and veteran W.H. Winchester III.

"It's a very moving ceremony," said Scott City Middle School principal Paul Sharp.

Sharp said he thinks it is important to hold events honoring veterans, especially when there are servicemen and women serving overseas.

At 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Central High School will hold a ceremony in the Tiger Field House where the school's orchestra, chamber choir and the Tiger Dancers will perform. There will also be a slideshow that will follow along with a talk about the history of America's wars and the impact they have had on the local community.

Typically, 200 to 250 veterans and their families attend the ceremony, said school librarian Julia Jorgensen, who started the tradition 10 years ago.

The school will also present honorary high school diplomas to two Cape Girardeau veterans as part of Missouri's "Operation Recognition," which grants diplomas to members of the military who left high school before graduation to serve in the military.

Jorgensen said ceremonies like these are important.

"We now have 1,100 WWII veterans dying every day," Jorgensen said. "We don't have very much time left to thank those men for what they've done."

Jackson High School will hold its Veterans Day ceremony at 9 a.m. Thursday in the school auditorium. It will feature speeches from local veterans, performances from the school's choir and a reception in the cafeteria.

"It gives them an appreciation of the price some people have had to pay for their freedom," said principal Rick McClard.

Holding its first Veterans Day ceremony this year is Notre Dame Regional High School. The ceremony starts at 1:30 p.m. Thursday and will feature guest speaker Maj. Brent Cotton from the U.S. Air Force.

335-6611, extension 182

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