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Letter to the Editor: Memorial Day program offered a stirring salute

Friday, May 31, 2002

To the editor:

The Cape Girardeau Joint Veterans Council brought another outstanding Memorial Day program to the community last Monday. Approximately 200 men, women and children turned out to honor veterans who have served our nation's five military branches, paying special tribute to those who have paid the supreme sacrifice and honoring the nearly 1.5 million young Americans currently serving in the armed forces.

From the posting of colors to the retiring of the colors, the 1 1/2-hour program was a patriotic adventure. The Cape Girardeau Municipal Band offered stirring military marches before and during the ceremony, repeating the selections in the evening at the Capaha Park band shell in its annual Memorial Day salute to veterans. Ron Nall, director, added facts of historic interest about the marches. Other music included vocal selections sung a cappella by Julia Cowsert and the playing of "Taps" by Narvol Randol.

Tom Giles, master of ceremonies, introduced the guest speaker, state Rep. Rod Jetton of Marble Hill, Mo., who gave an inspiring message. Other dignitaries were recognized, including state Sen. Peter Kinder of Cape Girardeau, whose remarks were sparked by his eloquent reading of John McCrae's poem, "In Flanders Fields."

The program was well-attended mostly by veterans and their families. The vacant seats were visible reminders that Memorial Day is for everyone, young and old, who continue to enjoy this nation's freedom.

JO ANN BOCK

Cape Girardeau