Kingman puts on a tribute to veterans
Salutes, parade mark solemn day
KINGMAN - World War II veteran Roy Dunton thought it was great to see about 50 people attending the Veterans Day ceremony Tuesday at Mountain View Cemetery and showing their respect for veterans lost at war and those who survived.
Dunton, 93, was aboard three different ships during World War II, including the USS Harrison destroyer, and spent a year and a half in the South Pacific.
"I joined a mine sweep and we ended up clearing all the mines out of the Yellow Sea outside of Shanghai and 100 miles up the Yangtze River," Dunton said.
Dusty Pederson, commander of American Legion Post 14, led the 30-minute ceremony with the raising of the U.S. flag and black POW-MIA flag, Pledge of Allegiance, message commemorating the service of veterans past and present and the playing of "Taps."
"We recognize their service to our country and their cause does not end with termination of their military service," he said.
American Legion Post 14 officers who spoke at the ceremony were Mary Ellis, Ann Seney, Rebecca Faris, Dennis Kuneff and Steve Seney. Several people from the audience came forward to recognize family members who served in the military.
"I thought it was a good crowd that was here to honor the veterans, especially the living ones," said Pederson, who was a dustoff pilot in Vietnam, evacuating wounded soldiers from the battlefield by helicopter. "I got a lot of good feedback on the presentation. They like the military order."
Only three World War II veterans are left at American Legion Post 14, Pederson said. One of them, 89-year-old Elmer Graves, showed up at six o'clock Tuesday morning to raise the flag at the American Legion post for Veterans Day.
Pederson said the American Legion is organizing more events to benefit veterans, such as last Saturday's comedy night and dinner that raised $800.
"We could do more community service with veterans that need help, not just one special day," he said.
Later Tuesday afternoon, The Lingenfelter Center and The Gardens Rehab and Care Center held a Veterans Day parade for residents, family and guests.
The parade drew several hundred spectators along Western Avenue to watch more than 30 entries, including All Starz Gymnastics and Dance team; cheerleaders from Kingman Academy, Lee Williams High School, White Hills Junior High and Kingman Middle School; Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 975; Kingman and Pinion fire departments; Patriot Guard Rider motorcycle club; and classic cars and trucks.
Lee Williams football players pushed nursing care residents in wheelchairs, and three war veterans from Lingenfelter Center rode on a float, tossing candy to children along the route. Other residents watched the parade from the street.
"We try our best to get them out there, even if it's in a Geri Chair," said Jessica Rodriguez, activities director at Lingenfelter Center.
John Kirby, social worker at The Gardens, started the parade six years ago when he was at Lingenfelter. He wanted to bring a parade to veterans in the home who can't make it out to the Kingman Veterans Day Parade.
"It's just grown and grown and the community has supported it," he said. "This is the largest ever, not only with over 30 entries, but the people along the parade route. It's great."