Area veterans organizations will mark Memorial Day with ceremonies and services.

Area veterans organizations will mark Memorial Day with ceremonies and services.
“Faithful to Our Past” will be the theme of the Memorial Day service at 2 p.m. at the Pittsburg State University Veterans Memorial. It will be open to the community. In case of rain, the program will be moved to the PSU Student Recreation Center.
There will be a special reading of names of soldiers from the four-state area who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. The program will also include the Marine Corps JROTC Silent Drill Team from Topeka, American Legion Riders “Rolling Thunder,” and a special remembrance of Chief Warrant Officer Larry R. Salzman by Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Strukel.
Salzman, who died in March, served in the U.S. Army from 1957 until his retirement in 1977. He served in Korea in 1958 and 1959, along with two tours of duty in Vietnam as a combat helicopter pilot, earning numerous citations and honors. He was VIP/personal helicopter pilot for Gen. Omar Bradley and Gen. William Westmoreland from 1969 to 1971. He was a member of the planning and programming committee for the PSU Veterans Memorial and was instrumental in arranging for the Moving Wall Memorial at PSU and the Kansas Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Keynote speaker for the service will be Maj. Gen. (Ret.) George Lampe. In addition, families of veterans will be recognized in an unveiling of new pavers to the Veterans Memorial.
Pittsburg Avenue of Flags will be on display, weather permitting, at Highland Park Cemetery. A ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Monday with Martin Dickinson as master of ceremonies. Gerianne Bass, commander of Betty Lou Vilmer American Legion Post 394, will give the invocation. Speaker will be Dr. Carolann Martin, Vilmer Post vice commander.
There will be a roll call of the honored dead. Participating will be David Purdy of the Avenue of Flags, Denzel Davidson of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1158, Bruce Curry of American Legion Post 64, Carolann Martin of Legion Post 394, and the Disabled American Veterans.
A wreath will be placed on the Memorial Mound by Gerianne Bass and Patricia Neeland of Post 394, and benediction will be given by Connie Gangwer of Post 394. Gun salute will be provided by the VFW Post 1158 Firing Squad, and Matthew Newport will perform taps.
The flag flown this year on the Memorial Mound flagpole will be the flag in memory of Joe Arduino, who was born on Feb. 22, 1915, and died on July 26, 2007. He and his wife, the former Lucille Mangile, both grew up in Capaldo. A World War II veteran, Arduino served in the U.S. Army from May 21, 1942 to Oct. 25, 1945. An infantry sergeant and squad leader, he served in the Europe Theater operation, primarily in Italy.
He earned the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and the Bronze Star Medal. Arduino joined the VFW in 1969 and the American Legion in 1975.
Other area observances are planned as follows:

Frontenac American Legion
Miniature flags will be placed on the graves of veterans in Mt. Carmel and Frontenac City Cemeteries by members of John F. Derby American Legion Post 43.
A lunch will follow the ceremonies at the post home, with Frontenac American Legion Auxiliary members asked to bring a covered dish or dessert.

Arma American Legion
ARMA — Lon M. Helm Jr. American Legion Post 182, Arma, will have its traditional commemorative rites on Memorial Day, starting with services at 9:15 a.m. at the Englevale Cemetery, at 9:45 a.m. at the Arma Veterans Memorial in the Arma City Park and at 11 a.m. at the Pittsburg Garden of Memories Cemetery.
Ray Vail is post commander, Jim Atha is vice commander and Gene McCloud is sergeant at arms. Dave Bierbrodt will lead in prayer, and the “Star Spangled Banner” will be led by Bierbrodt and Fred Bogina.
There will be a “Tribute to the Unknown Soldier” and placing of a wreath with Ruth Wingebach, Arma American Legion Auxiliary vice president. She will also assist Harold Goyette, adjutant, in the roll call.
Scheduled readings will be “In Flanders Field” by Nick Popejoy, “America’s Answer” by Austin Bogina, a flag tribute by Andrew Ashbacher Jr. and the memorial address by Ray Vail.
Memorial roll call will be led by Marvalee Schneider and Mary Ellen Ryder, auxiliary co-chaplains, and Goyette. Schneider will give the benediction. The firing squad will present the gun salute and Elizabeth Banks will play taps.
A lunch, open to the community, will follow at 11:45 a.m. at the post home. Cooks will be Steffie Peternell and Ilene Everett.

Girard American Legion
GIRARD — George C. Brown American Legion Post 26, Girard, American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion will present memorial services at several area cemeteries.
Each service will include a short memorial presentation with the auxiliary placing a wreath on a chosen veteran’s grave, a 21-gun salute and taps.
Schedule of services will be as follows: Myers Cemetery, 9 a.m.; Greenbush Cemetery, 9:30 a.m.; Brazilton Cemetery, 10:15 a.m.; Lutheran South Hepler Cemetery, 10:45 a.m.; North Hepler Cemetery, 11:15 a.m.; Farlington Cemetery, 11:30 a.m.; Girard Cemetery at the Unknown Soldier’s Monument, noon; and at the grave site of Ricky Bennett at 12:15 p.m.
Bennett, a 1999 Girard High School graduate, was killed in May 2006 after the Cobra helicopter he was in crashed into the Al Habbaniyah Lake, 30 miles west of Baghdad, Iraq.

Weir American Legion
WEIR — Weir American Legion Post 272 will install its Avenue of Flags at 6 a.m. Monday at Hosey Hill Cemetery, located west of Weir, if weather permits.
Gun salutes and placement of wreaths will take place as follows: St. Bridget’s Cemetery, 9 a.m.; St. Anthony’s Cemetery, 9:15 a.m.; Council Corners Cemetery, 9:30 a.m.; Pleasant View Cemetery, 9:45 a.m.; Bird Cemetery, 10 a.m.; Crocker Cemetery, 10:15 a.m.; and Hosey Hill Cemetery, 11 a.m.

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Source: American Legion; Anton Materna