Kingman remembers American veterans

Veterans and civilians young and old paid solemn tribute this Memorial Day to past, present and future members of the armed forces.

More than a hundred Kingman residents gathered Monday morning at Centennial Park for the annual flag-raising ceremony hosted by the American Legion Post 14 and attended by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars as well as city leaders.

The hour-long ceremony included speeches, a VFW color guard, a 21-gun salute and a choir from the Kingman Academy of Learning.

"This is to all the men and women who gave their lives for this country," Post 14 commander Walt Brown said.

"It's one day we pick to honor but we should honor them all year long."

Mayor Les Byram led a parade of dignitaries who spoke of appreciating the sacrifices not just of veterans but families who lost loved ones killed serving their country.

"Sometimes in any police action that they face today can be more dangerous than any war," Byram said.

Kingman Justice Larry Imus, his voice cracking, remembered several of his relatives who fought and died in past wars.

Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan spoke of the latest service members to sacrifice their lives, those who fought in Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein.

Sheahan also mentioned Carol Howland, a detention officer who lost her son, Lance Cpl.

James Kiehl, during the recent Iraqi war.

The sheriff said veterans as well as law enforcement continue to protect the United States from past and future terrorism.

"We need to take care of our veterans," Sheahan said.

"Veterans are the core of this country."

Memorial Day was originally designated by Union Gen.

John Logan as Decoration Day in 1868 to honor deceased veterans on both sides of the Civil War.