2012-05-24 / Front Page

Memorial Day Services Set

Observances at Union Cemetery, courthouse, elsewhere
By Lindsay R. Mellott

A chaplain with the U.S. Army is scheduled to give the memorial address at a 10 a.m. Memorial Day observance this Monday at Union Cemetery in Ayr Township.

Col. Jeffrey D. Houston will speak at the morning service, which is the first of two planned jointly by American Legion Post 561 and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 655. The second observance takes place at the county courthouse in McConnellsburg following the Union Cemetery service.

Col. Houston is a Southern Baptist chaplain from Van Buren, Mo. From 1972 until 1989, he ministered in Missouri and Texas churches, beginning active duty as a chaplin in the Army in January 1990. He has served as chaplain at the battalion, brigade, division and corps levels.

A combat veteran of Desert Shield/Storm, Houston has completed three tours of duty in Iraq. He has also been deployed to Florida and Central America for humanitarian assistance disaster relief missions.

At the present time Houston is attending the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., and after graduating will be assigned to Fort Campbell, Ky., as the installation chaplain.

The colonel has been married to his wife, Lisa, for 38 years. They have three daughters and nine grandchildren.

Following Houston’s remarks, the American Legion, VFW, their auxiliaries and the Sons of the American Legion will present memorial wreaths; the decoration of veterans’ graves will take place; and the Fulton Honor Guard will salute departed comrades.

McConnellsburg High School Spartan Band will perform “Taps” and the national anthem at Union Cemetery and later at the courthouse observance in McConnellsburg, which begins around 11:30 a.m. following the decoration of veterans graves in cemeteries around town.

A presentation of memorial wreaths, a salute to departed comrades, remarks and prayers are planned at the courthouse. Refreshments will be served at the American Legion, 411 North Fifth Street, afterwards.

Memorial Day commemorates U.S. soldiers who died while in military service. A federal holiday, it was enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War and extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

Memorial Day observances elsewhere

The 68th annual Memorial Day service take places at Wells Valley United Methodist Church on May 28 at 11 a.m. Scheduled speaker is Joe Barrett. Musical selections by the Forbes Road High School Band. A light luncheon will follow the service.

Annual Memorial Day services for Buck Valley will be held Sunday, May 27, beginning at Buck Valley Christian Church at 9 a.m., proceeding to Hendershot Cemetery, then to Amaranth Brethren Church, to the Lutheran Church and ending at the Methodist Church, with a service starting at 11 a.m. Speaker is Lynn Rohm.

Memorial Day prayer breakfast May 28 at Burnt Cabins Grist Mill pavilion, hosted by the Chaplains in the Parks ministry of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches. 9 a.m. breakfast, followed by a service of prayer and remembrance. Breakfast by donation to the chaplaincy committee.

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