The annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Crown Hill Cemetery took place this morning (May 26). Each year the various military posts of Sedalia take turns leading there ceremony. This year, Paul Bennett of the American Legion Post 642 led the ceremony, on behalf of the George A. Whiteman Memorial Post 642, Veterans of Foreign Wars 2591 and Voiture 333, the 40/8.

The guest speaker this year was, U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Thomas Miller, who is the Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of the Air Traffic Control Training of the 509th Operations Support Squadron of the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base.

Miller spoke of his experience of working overseas, including stints in Korea and Iraq. He spoke of the sacrifices made by the men and women in uniform that he said he didn't truly understand until he enlisted in the military. He pointed out how when he was overseas and there was a plane that flew out with the remains of soldiers of those had fallen. They would be given first priority and everyone would pause for those that paid the ultimate sacrifice.

In addition to the guest speaker, there was the traditional laying of wreaths in rememberance of World War I, World War 2, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq & Afghanistan and all other conflicts.

The Smith-Cotton JROTC raised and lowered the flags to half mast and Richard Barnier played Taps. The VFW Post 2591 provided the Firing Squad. The presentation of Colors were done by the Department of Missouri State Champion and National Champion Color Guard, George A. Whiteman Memorial Post 642.

There were prayers done by Tony Gallagher of the 40/8 and Allen Hawkins of the American Legion Post 642. Sedalia Mayor Stephen Galliher led the Pledge of Allegiance and Richard DeFord sang the Star Spangled Banner.

After the ceremony, those in attendance were invited to the Flag Disposal Ceremony and picnic, put on by the 40/8 at Liberty Park and the barbeque at the Post 642.