Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Veterans honored at Grand View

  • More than 150 U.S. flags were raised at Grand View Burial Park in Hannibal Saturday, Nov. 9, to honor military veterans who are buried there.
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  • More than 150 U.S. flags were raised at Grand View Burial Park in Hannibal Saturday, Nov. 9, to honor military veterans who are buried there.
    This was the highlight of Grand View’s annual Veterans’ Day observance. The flags for the ceremony were presented to the veterans’ family members during a service prior to the flag raising, and local Boy Scouts raised the flags for the families who could not attend.
    As the names of the veterans were being read by Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd, Arthur J. Forrest was recognized as a Medal of Honor winner. His flag was presented to Ronn Pashia, commander of American Legion Post No. 55, who in turn presented it to a Boy Scout for the flag raising.
    The flag raising included an American Legion gun salute and the playing of Taps by Alan Embree.
    Some people had more than one reason to participate, such as Mike Fenton, who was a member of the American Legion Color Guard that participated in the service.
    He also joined his daughter, Lori Fenton, to honor Mike’s father (and Lori’s grandfather), World War II veteran Rexford Fenton, who is buried at Grand View. Lori, accompanied by her friend, Brent Greenup, was attending the Veterans’ Day service for the second year.
    And Mike Fenton joined his wife, Carol, to raise a flag for her dad, Harvey Pettitt, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of World War II.
    Allen shares history
    of Veterans’ Day
    Hannibal-LaGrange University President Dr. Anthony Allen, featured speaker at the Grand View Veterans’ Day service, explained that Veterans’ Day was originally called Armistice Day.
    It was founded to mark the armistice ending World War I, which the Allies signed at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918. In 1954 the name was changed to Veterans’ Day, he said, and it is a day to “celebrate and honor American veterans for their love of country and willingness to sacrifice for the common good.”
    Allen said our soldiers “not only provide valuable service but also provide knowledge back in their communities.”
    World War I was supposed to be “the war to end all wars,” Allen said. This was wrong, he added, and “today we pause to remember and reflect and also mourn those lost lives.”
    Quoting the prophet Micah, Allen said “one day we will turn our spears into plowshares.”
    Giving an example of someone who did not let tragedies defeat him, Allen explained how the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem, “I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day,” which became the popular song.
    In 1862 Longfellow’s wife had died after suffering severe burns. And in 1863 his son was seriously wounded in battle in the Civil War, yet he wrote the poem on Christmas Day, after being inspired by hearing the Christmas bells ringing.
    Page 2 of 2 - Two verses of the poem are, “And in despair I bowed my head: ‘There is no peace on earth,‘ I said, ‘For hate is strong, and mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men.’
    “Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: ‘God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men.’”
    Allen reminded the people present that “in a world filled with violence,” Jesus can bring peace, and “we can be reconciled with God and have peace with God in Christ Jesus.”
    The word armistice means “cessation of hostilities,” Allen concluded. “We pray for a day when mercy and truth” will result in “having no more war, and the world will be dominated by love.”
    See photo gallery on hannibal.net.
    See photo gallery on hannibal.net.
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