Copperas Cove and Kempner will honor veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice during several ceremonies on Monday — Memorial Day.
“We think it is important to our community to recognize those who served in our military, and on Memorial Day, those that have fallen,” Kempner Mayor Gene Isenhour said. “It also is important that our younger generation grow up and have that respect ... and know that we set aside a time to commemorate the freedoms that we just take for granted sometimes.”
Isenhour is helping organize Kempner’s fifth annual Memorial Day ceremony at Sylvia Tucker Memorial Park’s Wall of Honor.
“This is a three-day weekend,” Isenhour said. “Schools are out, and some people are off work. People will be having picnics, going to the lakes and barbecues. Those are all good, but let’s take some time to attend these ceremonies throughout our area.”
Copperas Cove Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8577 will conduct two Memorial Day services on Monday at different locations.
The first will be located at Olan Forest Smith’s gravesite inside the Cove Cemetery. Smith is the VFW post’s namesake.
The second service will be in front of the old police station on Avenue D next to the Coryell County Annex, 201 S. Second St.
Both will be a traditional service with a wreath-laying ceremony and a prayer. A cannon volley is planned at the grave site service, said Mike Tingley, VFW Post 8577 commander.
Both services are long-standing traditions of 30-plus years, said Juanita Workman, VFW Post 8557 Ladies Auxiliary president.
“The ceremonies always mean a great deal to me,” said Workman, who has attended for 30 years. “It just shows honor for those who have served for us and given us the freedoms that we do have.”
Kempner’s service also will be traditional, with a wreath-laying and a rifle salute performed by the 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, Kempner’s “adopted unit.”
Lt. Col. Marvin Griffin, commander of the 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, will speak during the Kempner ceremony.
The public is invited to the Memorial Day ceremonies.
“Every day is a good day to reflect on (those who lost their lives), but Memorial Day is a day set aside for that,” Tingley said. “We should be honoring our fallen veterans on a daily basis in one form or another.”