Published 9:43 am Friday, May 23, 2014
Veterans and service members will be honored on Memorial Day with two programs by American Legion Magic City Post 24.
The first ceremony will take place Monday, May 26, at 10 a.m. at Fisher United Methodist Church Cemetery in the Richardson community.
To begin the program, the colors will be presented by the Franklinton High School Marine JROTC color guard, Legion Vice Commander Mike Henley said.
Guest speaker Col. Walter W. Smith, U.S. Marine Corps, retired, will provide remarks, and then a poppy ceremony will be conducted by the women of Fisher United Methodist Church.
Henley said the Post 24 funeral detail will next give the 21-gun salute and play taps.
Opening and closing prayers will be done by Post 24 Chaplain Robert Belknap.
Henley said Fisher Church celebrates its 146th anniversary this year, and the cemetery there is rich with the history of the United States’ involvement in different wars and conflicts.
He said veterans buried there served in the Mexican War, U.S. Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and other conflicts.
Later in the day, the Bogalusa program will be held at 5 p.m. at the veterans plot at Ponemah Cemetery.
Commander Buddy Fornea will provide the welcome address, and the Bogalusa High JROTC will post the colors.
Belknap will give the invocation, along with the benediction at the close of the program, and Boy Scout Troop 86 will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
Fornea said John Gallaspy will recite the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written by Lt. Col. John McCrae, and then the members of the Post 24 Auxillary will place poppies on the veterans’ graves, with the JROTC cadets providing assistance.
Wreaths will be placed by representatives from the Daughters of the American Revolution, the city of Bogalusa, the Legion and the Legion Auxillary, and a memorial address will be given by Lt. Col. Gavin M. Guidry, U.S. Army, retired.
The Post 24 rifle squad will give a salute to the dead, and Jerry Rushing will play taps.
Additionally, Fornea said there will be a recognition of the Louisiana National Guard 205th Engineer Battalion. Bricks have been placed on the Walk of Honor in honor of each member of the 205th, he said.
People might like to bring along a chair when attending the ceremony, Fornea noted.
Following the ceremony, refreshments will be served at the Post 24 American Legion Home.
Fornea said this day is set aside to honor the veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting and serving their country.
“Memorial Day honors those men and women who have served their country and given the greatest sacrifice to ensure that we remain a free nation,” he said.