From a motorcycle cruise-in to a gospel concert, people will pay tribute to veterans in a variety of ways this Memorial Day weekend.
"We should do what we can to remember all of them," said Sheryl Smith, commander of American Legion Post 63 and chairwoman of the Joint Veterans Council in Cape Girardeau. "As that population grows with our current conflict more and more, it's an opportunity to say thank you."
The Cape Girardeau Municipal Band will perform to kick off the Joint Veterans Council's Memorial Day program at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Osage Community Centre.
"Cape would not be described as a very patriotic community in comparison to others," Smith said. "This is an opportunity to have a show of patriotism in our community."
Smith, a veteran of the Naval Reserves who served during the Persian Gulf War, will be master of ceremonies Monday.
Lt. Col. Andrew Rogers, a member of the Missouri Army National Guard and superintendent at the Charleston School District, will be the keynote speaker.
Rogers has been deployed to Iraq twice and previously served in Germany and Honduras. His awards include the Soldier's Medal for Heroism, the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Order de Fleury Medal, among others. He holds a doctoral degree in education leadership from St. Louis University.
Also on Memorial Day weekend in Cape Girardeau, Fort D will be open for tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily Saturday through Monday, and the VFW Missouri Riders second annual Poker Run for Missouri Veteran Homes will stop at the VA Home in Cape Girardeau at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
About 100 bikers are expected to arrive as part of the group traveling across the state to visit veterans and raise money to care for them. The group will eat dinner with residents at the Veterans Home.
In Jackson, American Legion Post 158 and its Auxiliary will sponsor a Memorial Day program at 9 a.m. Monday at Jackson City Cemetery. Petty Officer 2nd Class Penny Kurre, who served in the U.S. Navy, will be the keynote speaker. The Jackson Municipal Band also will perform. On Sunday, the First Baptist Church of Jackson will host a patriotic concert featuring The Lesters during its 10:40 a.m. worship service.
In Gordonville, a Memorial Day supper will be held at 4 p.m. Monday at Zion United Methodist Church.
The Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Bloomfield will host a Memorial Day program at 1 p.m. Monday at the committal shelter plaza in the cemetery. The keynote speaker will be Col. Larry W. Matthews, who is retired from the U.S. Army.
1625 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau
Locust Street just east of Sprigg Street, Cape Girardeau
3652 State Hwy. Z, Gordonville
212 S. High St., Jackson
South High Street, Jackson
17357 Stars and Stripes Way, Bloomfield, Mo.