PITTSBURG, Kan. — In light of state and local coronavirus guidelines and restrictions on gatherings, the annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Pittsburg State University Veterans Memorial has been reimagined this year, the university announced in a press release this week.
In its place, a recorded ceremony will air Monday, May 25, on several platforms to enable viewing starting at 10 a.m. at vimeo.com/pittstate, at pittstate.tv, at youtube.com/pittsburgstate, and at facebook.com/PSUVeteransMemorial
Serving as emcee will be PSU ROTC Cadet Esperanza S. Deterding. Cadet Logan Williams will offer the invocation and the benediction.
Girard seventh grader Orin Weiss, who recently placed with distinction in the World Online Piping & Drumming Championships Competition, will be featured playing Amazing Grace.
The National Anthem will be sung by Pittsburg High School senior Addy Campbell, who is an incoming freshman at PSU, and “Taps” will be played by Ashley Hodges, a junior trumpet major at PSU.
The keynote speaker will be Anthony “Tony” Perez, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. He spent 22 years in service during the Vietnam War era on numerous bases across the U.S. and two tours in Thailand. As a civilian, Perez went on to have a 19-year career at the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant in Parsons, Kansas.
Since 1990, he’s been a volunteer at KRPS Public Radio at PSU, where he served as the local host of Weekend Edition Saturday and Weekend Edition Sunday for 23 years, and since 2013 he has been the local host of Performance Today.
Perez also has served on the board of directors for the Pittsburg Family YMCA, and earlier this year was named a Dr. Ralf J. Thomas Distinguished Service Award winner by PSU Alumni Relations.
About the Memorial
The PSU Veterans Memorial is located at 1909 S. Rouse. It was dedicated with a ceremony on Memorial Day 2004 at the eastern edge of the PSU campus, making this the 15th anniversary of the Memorial itself and the 16th annual ceremony. It features a half-sized replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., and a kiosk and directory to help visitors locate names. A 250-seat amphitheater serves as a venue for special events, including Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies open to the public each year.
In addition to the wall, the memorial includes an entry rampart featuring U.S., state, and university flags and the five seals of the uniformed military branches, two impressive entry portals, an arch just behind the reflecting pool with an eternal flame, and patriotic bronze sculptures.
The plaza of the amphitheater, as well as the entrance plaza, features more than 3,400 engraved granite pavers paying tribute to veterans and veterans’ organizations. A display of the 50 state flags is featured on the north berm of the memorial. It is one of the most visited sites in Southeast Kansas. For more information visit www.psuvetmemorial.org