A ceremony honoring several different things including the lying of a wreath at the POW/MIA Memorial in honor of National POW/MIA Recognition Day was held at the Lucas County Veterans Memorial Park in Chariton Friday morning, Sept. 17.
Lucas County Veterans Memorial Park Committee Chairman Earl Comstock gave the opening welcome.
“Good morning and welcome to the Lucas County Veterans Memorial Park. The Marine Corps Service Flag, flying on the park’s Veterans Memorial Flag pole, is for Cpl. Daegan Page of Omaha, Neb. Cpl. Page was one of 13 U.S. service members killed in the Kabul, Afghanistan Airport attack. Cpl. Page was 23 years old and was raised in Red Oak, Iowa, and Omaha. He will be buried today at the Omaha National Cemetery,” Comstock said.
“Today is also Chariton’s Homecoming, Constitution Day, and we will be dedicating our Iowa Flag Pole by raising the first Iowa flag, and the lying of a wreath at our POW/MIA Memorial,” Comstock said.
Mary Katherine Laird led everyone in the saying of “The Pledge of Allegiance.”
David Tyree of the Church of Christ in Chariton said the Invocation.
“Father we honor You for giving thought to our Founding Fathers minds to honor You. We thank you for the thousands and thousands of boys and girls that put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms,” Tyree said.
Janet Ritchie of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) gave the history of the Iowa flag.
“I want to thank you for being here. I think this park is super, super nice and I enjoy being here,” Ritchie said at the end of her speech.
Shirley Hamilton did the presenting of the Iowa flag and she and Dick Warren, SFC, Iowa Army National Guard (Ret.) did the raising of the Iowa flag.
Tony Iriving then sang the “Iowa Song.”
The crowd then proceeded to the Circle of Life in the park for the laying of the wreath. Memorial Park Committee member Roger Blunk then said a few words.
“Good morning. Today, the third Friday in September, is National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Each year a Presidential Proclamation brings the nation together to remember and honor members of the Armed Forces who remain Missing in Action or Prisoners of War. On this day, we as a nation rededicate our efforts, that as a nation we have a responsibility for bringing patriots home and caring for our military families who wait for word of their loves ones.
“In 1970, Mrs. Michael Huff, an MIA wife and a member of the National League of POW/MIA families, recognized the need for a symbol of our POW/MIAs. That symbol is engraved on this granite stone and on the black POW/MIA flag flying here today. It is from her continuing work on behalf of our POW/MIAs and their families that we lay this wreath and fly the POW/MIA flag,” Blunk said.
The laying of the wreath was then performed. Gerald Rowe of Pella did the laying of the wreath at the POW/MIA Memorial. Rowe’s brother, Elmer Rowe, was killed in action in the Korean War. Gerald served in Vietnam in 1962 and 1963.
David Tyree then performed the reading of the 91st Psalm.
Adam Bahr then played Taps on the trumpet to conclude the ceremony.
The Iowa Bell at the park was unlocked for anyone at the ceremony that would like to ring the bell in honor of a veteran.
Chariton American Legion Post #102 is looking for members. The American Legion does a lot of good for the local community.