America's military heroes were honored locally with a special ceremony at Crown Hill Cemetery Monday on Memorial Avenue with several dozen people attending.

Don Barbour, Voiture 333, 40 & 8 commander, emceed the 40-minute ceremony noted that "We are here to honor the men and women who gave their ultimate sacrifice for this great land we call America, and for all it stands," he said.

Ret. Lt. Col. Walter Cliff McBride was the guest speaker for the event. He retired from the US Marine Corps in 1999. He and his wife Cheryl have two grown children.

"We are living in a time, for most of the country, where there is very little connection between Memorial Day and a shared sense of loss. A shared sense of sacrifice, a shared empathy for the families directly affected by their family members who served in combat," he said. "The number of Americans who have any connection to the military has become increasingly small. We're truly a blessed nation to have had many youth willing to serve their country."

McBride said the annual holiday was designed to honor those who gave all, adding that for those who came home, "we have a duty to teach these traditions of service."

Sedalia Mayor Stephen J. Galliher led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, while veteran Roy Bemiss sang the National Anthem and Tony Galigher, past Chef De Gare of Voiture 333, 49 & 8, delivered the Invocation.

Six couples presented six wreaths to remember all US military conflicts. George Fairfax (American Legion Post 16) and his wife Peggy represented WWI vets. Mr. and Mrs. Larry Reven (VFW Post 2591 Post commander) represented WWII vets. Ernest and Susan Parker (Voiture 333 Correspondence and Dames president) represented Korean vets. James Gaertner and his wife Micki (Voiture 333) represented Vietnam vets. Phyllis Ross and Charles Gerke represented Iraq and Afghanistan vets. Bill and Shirley Neff represented all other conflicts.

The colors were presented by Joe Cochran the color guard from VFW Post 642. Troop 61 conducted the raising and lowering of the American flag, and the Post 2591 firing squad provided a 21-gun salute. Ken Holstine of VFW Post 2591 played Taps.

Chaplain James Gaertner provided the Benediction to conclude the event.

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