KINGMAN Several local services hosted by veteran organizations will be held Memorial Day to honor the country's fallen heroes.
The biggest service will be held at 8:30 a.m. Monday at Centennial Park, where representatives from veteran organizations, law enforcement officers and the general public will pay tribute to the heroes who sacrificed their lives for the freedom and liberty of this country.
The Disabled American Veterans will host a separate memorial service in a local church at 9 a.m., and members of American Legion Post 14 and Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 3516 will hold a joint memorial ceremony at 11 a.m. at Mountain View Cemetery on Stockton Hill Road.
Brian McCutcheon, Color Guard Commander of VFW, said they would decorate the cemetery with national flags and flowers in the early morning. At 11 a.m., when the memorial services starts, they will lower the national flag down to half mast to pay salute to American soldiers who died in wars. Veteran representatives will speak on behalf of their organizations to honor what those soldiers have done for this country, and place flowers on the graves of fallen heroes. A gun salute will end the ceremony.
"We do this each year because we want them to know that this country will never forget what they have done for us, for generations of American people," said McCutcheon.
He encourages local residents to take time out on Monday morning to join the memorial service. There will be reserved area around the cemetery for visitors' parking.
Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originally was designated to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War. Following World War I, it was expanded to honor any U.S. soldier who died in any war or military action.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, 1,137,838 soldiers, sailors, Airmen and Marines have been killed in the 10 wars from the Revolutionary War in 1775-1783, to the conclusion of the first Gulf War in 1991.
In the on-going war on terror, 2,466 American soldiers died in Iraq as of Saturday and 235 in Afghanistan as of Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.