Gladewater Memorial Day observance for Monday morning

Originally known as Decoration Day, the nationwide period of mourning for deceased service men and women began as 1868 order by the Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, John A. Logan.
Today, Memorial Day is celebrated each year on the last Monday in May – Gladewater’s observance is set for the morning of May 27 at the Veterans’ War Memorial downtown.
The 11 a.m. event is organized and hosted by the Gladewater Former Students’ Association, which established the 119 E. Pacific Ave. memorial plaza and dedicated it more than twenty years ago.
“Join us as we come together to honor and remember the courageous men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation,” the association announced. “This is a sacred opportunity to reflect, pay tribute and express our profound gratitude for their selfless service.”
Some seating will be provided, but visitors are encouraged to bring a lawn chair.
“We warmly invite the entire community to be part of this solemn event. Let’s observe moments of silence, listen to meaningful speeches and ensure the legacy of our fallen heroes endures in our hearts and minds.”
The local memorial, dedicated in September 2002, features four central black granite slabs engraved with the names of local men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces as far back as the Civil War. An additional stone was dedicated in 2014 to honor veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
To support the GFSA Veterans’ Memorial Project, send contributions via check to Gladewater Former Students Association, P.O. Box 1425, Gladewater, Texas 75647.
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Retired United States Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Robert C. Shultz will be speaker for Gilmer’s annual Memorial Day ceremony Monday at the Gilmer Civic Center.
The 10 a.m. event, sponsored by local branches of three national veterans’ organizations, is scheduled inside the center on north U.S. 271. The annual ceremony is usually held on the Upshur County Courthouse’s south lawn, which is closed because the building is undergoing a major renovation.
Co-sponsoring the event are Lewis E. Breames Post No. 6715 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Chapter 204 of Disabled American Veterans, and the American Legion R.E. (Peppy) Blount Post No. 320.
Retired United States Army Lt. Colonel Larry Tefteller will be master of ceremonies. Retired U.S. Army veteran Charles Watson will speak the invocation while Norris Lankford, a disc jockey, will play the National Anthem.
Retired United States Marine Corps veteran Thomas Johnson will lead the Pledge of Allegiance before all branches of the military are recognized, after which Tefteller will introduce Shultz. The speaker will then place a wreath, escorted by Chief Master Sergeant Donna Shultz.
Watson will state the closing prayer, followed by “Taps,” played by U.S. Army veteran Brandon Dodd.
The attending public is invited to join the veterans for a free fish fry at the nearby DAV building on the other side of 271.
In addition, members of the American Legion Auxiliary will be at Brookshire’s nearby to hand out poppy pins in memory of veterans who were killed while in the service.

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