From poetry and prayer to a resonant rifle salute and the presentation of wreaths, this year’s event featured most of the mainstays of this annual commemoration.
The hour-long ceremony culminated with a roll call of 400-plus local vets who had passed away over the past year. Another poignant touch was a worn, 48-star flag
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that the Rev. Don Carter had planted near the podium. The flag, as Carter went on to explain, had been a gift of the late Curt Davis, a local veteran who had received the banner after his internment as a POW during the Second World War.
Monday’s event was also the first since 2019 to feature live instrumentation – which was provided, in this case, by students from both Western and Eastern high schools. Western’s band leader Michael Jefferson credited this rare collaboration to the attrition which COVID-19 has had on his own high school’s band, which has traditionally enjoyed a monopoly on the ceremony’s musical accompaniment.