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Memorial Day services return to Barton, Pawnee counties
American flags adorning headstones at Great Bend Cemetery Friday stand ready for the Memorial Day observance Monday. - photo by Dale Hogg

After being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Memorial Day services are returning to the Golden Belt Monday.

The Great Bend observance will take place at 10 a.m. Monday at Great Cemetery’s Veterans Circle. The program will include:

• Call to order (“It’s a Grand Old Flag”) – Steve Lockwood

• Entrance of the American Legion Riders Chapter 180, Great Bend, and the flag presentation

• Introductions by master of ceremonies Katharine Piper

• Invocation by Jeannie Munsch, American Legion Auxiliary president

• Presentation of memorials

– American Legion Post 180 – Boe Levingston

– American Legion Auxiliary Unit 180 – Juanita Dreiling, unit vice president

– Sons of the American Legion Squadron 180 – Robert Zahn, SAL commander

– American Legion Riders Chapter 180 – JP Postlethwaite, ALR director

– Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3111 – Kenny Dreiling, commander 

– Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post 3111 – Doug Fuhr - president

– Disabled American Veterans Chapter 27 – Darrell Turley, commander

– Sons of the American Revolution – Stan Jantz

– Boy Scouts of America – Boy Scout Troop 157

– Girl Scouts of America – Girl Scouts of America

• Memorial address by Bob Jarmer, Post 180 finance officer

• Benediction by Jeannie Munsch

• A Moment of silence for the deceased

• Taps – Mark Webster

After the ceremony, the proceedings will adjourn to the Arkansas River Bridge just south of Great Bend to honor those who died at sea. This will include the releasing wreaths into the river by service organization representatives.

Next, the service will move to the Barton County Veterans Memorial at Golden Belt Memorial Park, a half mile west of NW 50 Avenue and North Washington. There will be a laying of wreaths at the park. 

There will also be observances in area communities. These include:

• Ellinwood

8 a.m. at St. Peter and Paul Church north of Ellinwood

10:30 a.m. at Lakin-Comanche District Cemetery in Ellinwood

The Rev. Tom Thierfelder will preside.

The Ellinwood American Legion Post 320 is in charge of the service.

• Hoisington

7:45 a.m. at the Odin Cemetery

8:30 a.m.  at the Dubuque Cemetery

9:15 a.m.  at the Beaver Cemetery           

10 a.m. at the Hoisington Cemetery        

10:30 a.m. at the St. John the Evangelist Catholic Cemetery

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7428 and American Legion Post 286 are organizing the services.

• Claflin

10 a.m. Pleasant View Cemetery in Claflin 

Bill Johnson, Pastor Emmanuel UCC in Ellinwood will be the speaker.

Ralph B. Praeger VFW Post 8668 is in charge of the service.

• Larned/Pawnee Rock

10 a.m.  at the Larned Cemetery

11 a.m. at the Pawnee Rock Cemetery

Robert Sallee of Larned will be the speaker.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7271 is in charge of the service.