Fairfield honors Memorial Day
Sgt. 1st Class (Retired) Ray Chambers of Packwood will be the featured speaker at Fairfield’s Memorial Day service Monday morning in Central Park.
Chambers served with the Fairfield-headquartered 224th Engineer Battalion of the Iowa Army National Guard. He is a member of the Dimmitt Vorhies VFW Post 2271 in Fairfield, director of the Jefferson County Veteran Affairs Commission, and city councilor in Packwood.
The 34th Army Band of the Iowa Army National Guard will form in Howard Park at 9:30 a.m. to march down Court Street and into Central Park on the east side of the bandstand.
The band will be under the direction of its commander, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kent Wesselink. The band will play until the 10 a.m. welcome by Jim Kennedy of Dimmitt Vorhies VFW Post 2271.
The ceremony will include Fairfield High School senior Claudia Sloat reading Logan’s General Orders and FHS senior Makayla Kessel reading Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Sloat and Kessel are All-State speakers.
Soloist Jan Hunerdosse of Fairfield will sing “God Bless America” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” accompanied by the 34th Army Band.
The ceremony also will include an invocation and benediction given by the Rev. Christopher Fiske, pastor of Word of Life Lutheran Church and chaplain with the 224th Engineer Battalion.
At the conclusion of the program in Central Park, a procession to a wreath-laying ceremony at the Jefferson County Veteran’s Monument on the courthouse lawn will form on the west side of the square and head north on Main Street.
Organizer Amanda Northup said patriotic organizations, including the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, are to fall in the procession after the 34th Army Band, and all other participants can fall in line after the scouts.
A 10-15 Transit bus will be available to transport handicapped and senior citizens to and from the monument.
At the veterans’ monument, the band will play “Nearer My God To Thee” and “Rock of Ages.” Fiske will give an invocation, and representatives of patriotic organizations will lay wreaths at the monument before a 34th Army Band bugler plays “Taps.”
In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved from Central Park to the Fairfield National Guard Armory. Northup said a decision to move should be announced between 7-8 a.m.
Those attending the ceremony are reminded a few benches are available in Central Park, but those who want guaranteed seats should bring lawn chairs.
Volunteers are needed to help post and later retire the Avenue of Flags in Central Park Monday, weather permitting.
VFW officials said volunteers should be at the VFW before 6:30 a.m. Monday to help put up the flags.
A free breakfast will be served to the volunteers.
Volunteers should meet again before 4 p.m. to take down the flags and return them to the VFW, although, if weather is threatening, the flags could be taken down earlier.
The listing of deceased servicemen and servicewomen, whose families and friends have contributed to the Avenue of Flags in their memory, will be published in The Ledger Friday.
Those who would like to contribute to the Avenue of Flags should contact the VFW at 472-9282.