Heroes honored: Memorial Day marked at Poole’s Bluff

Published 4:06 am Saturday, June 1, 2019

On a gorgeous day at the “Bear” Stewart Memorial, the Washington Parish Republican Executive Committee (WRPEC) conducted its seventh annual Memorial Day program honoring fallen veterans at Poole’s Bluff Nature Park.

More than 70 people turned out for a commemorative service honoring our fallen heroes. Becky Crain and Debbie Miley led the patriotic singing, including the National Anthem. Pastor Scott Breland of Plainview Baptist Church offered the invocation, calling attention to an empty chair displayed to remind us of POWs and those still missing and unaccounted for. Ninety-nine-year-old World War II veteran, Ubert Terrell, led the Pledge of Allegiance.

The parents of David “Bear” Stewart, presented a wreath at the monument which honors her son — a victim of the war on terror. Joining in the presentation were representatives of World War II veterans, the American Legion and Vietnam War veterans. Each of these entities celebrated anniversaries: the American Legion 100 years, D-Day 75 years, and Vietnam 50 years.

State Sen. Beth Mizell presented a poignant reminder of the need to include our youth in recalling the sacrifices of our ancestors, and to provide the love they need to mature — so they can enjoy and preserve freedom for those who follow them. Larry Miller presented a stirring account and rendition of the Gettysburg Address.

At each Memorial Day event, veterans in attendance are recognized. Once again, the Vietnam veterans were presented medals “on behalf of a grateful nation.” As a partner of the U.S. Dept. of Defense, the WRPEC is tasked with identifying and thanking Vietnam servicemen and their families. Medals were presented to a dozen Vietnam veterans in attendance.

The American Legion Post 24 Honor Guard rendered a rifle salute while Legion bugler, Gary Rushing, played “Taps” during the event. Paul Corse, chaplain of American Legion Post 24, offered the benediction.