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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Remembrance ceremony honors POWs/MIAs

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Post Commander Ken Madison placed a wreath at the grave of Tom Wolfe during the ceremony to honor and remember the nation's POWs and MIAs. The wreath represents victory over death. Ella Withnell, in the background, placed an inverted glass on the table, a reminder that these military heroes are not present to share in the day's toast. [Times Photo by Melonie Roberts]
Members of the Tom Wolfe Memorial VFW Post #4207 and its Ladies Auxiliary conducted their annual remembrance ceremony on Friday, Sept. 21 to honor soldiers missing in action or held as prisoners of war at the Monett IOOF Cemetery. Post representatives gathered at the grave of Tom Wolfe, who was killed in the Vietnam War.

Danetta Wakefield, senior vice president for the VFW Auxiliary, served as master of ceremonies.

Following the presentation of colors and a prayer by Post Chaplain Amber White, Wakefield led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Flowers were laid on the grave to represent the colors of the United States Flag. Dave Thurman, senior vice commander, offered a red rose, representing courage and willingness to sacrifice. Dennis Houseman, Post senior vice commander, presented a white flower, representing the purity of purpose and unselfishness in serving. Bill Cooper, Post officer of the day, offered a blue flower, representing truth, fidelity and the desire of missing soldiers for peace.

The round table represented the everlasting concern for the missing. Ladies from the Auxiliary decorated its surface.

Kim Clay, senior vice president of the Ladies Auxiliary, covered the table with a white cloth, which represents the purity of motives for those who answered the call to duty. Clay also placed a single red rose in a vase as a reminder of the lives of each of the missing and their loved ones who keep the faith, waiting for answers.

Marge Redshaw, conductress pro tem, placed a bread plate with a lemon slice to serve as a reminder of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in foreign lands. A pinch of salt on the plate represents the tears of the families and loved ones of those missing.

White presented an evergreen sprig, representing the undying love of country and the unending commitment of those present to the missing. Karyn Shepard, Auxiliary chaplain, placed a Bible on the table, which represented strength gained by the faith and the one nation under God, whom the missing serve.

Post Commander Ken Madison laid a laurel wreath, representing victory over death. Auxiliary President Ella Withnell placed an inverted glass on the table, a reminder that the loved one is unable to share in the day's toast. The chair was folded and placed at an angle to the table, representing the absence of the loved one.

"Remember, all of us who have served with them and called them comrades, they were soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Guardsmen. We depended upon them for their might. Let us remember. Surely, they have not forgotten you," Wakefield concluded.

Attending the ceremony were residents and staff from the Missouri Veterans Home in Mt. Vernon. Members of the Purdy High School Choir performed "The Star Spangled Banner."

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