Rain doesn't put damper on Memorial Day ceremonies - KCTV5

Rain doesn't put damper on Memorial Day ceremonies

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Memorial Day in Lebo, KS Memorial Day in Lebo, KS

Memorial Day ceremonies were held in Kansas, Missouri and the Midwest Monday, and the rain didn't put a damper on the events.

The event at the World War I Museum at the Liberty Memorial was moved indoors because of the rain. A service in Lebo, KS, was held between storms.

One by one, nearly 400 names were read at the cemetery in Lebo, which is a small town east of Emporia. All of the names read were for men and women who have served the United States.

"It really touches your heart when people show up and put the poppies on the graves of the loved ones," said Phillip George, who served in the Navy during World War II.

He has been carrying the flag for Lebo's Memorial Day service since his return in 1946.

"To me, that's the great part of this: to represent the community and represent the service in the community," he explained.

For decades, the residents of Lebo and the surrounding area have come together to honor those who died for their country and remember the service of veterans who have been lost.

The service helps those who have lost a loved one whether they died in war or peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones.

Hospitalized veterans make the poppies to lay on graves. A 21-gun salute is held, speeches are given, flags are raised and Taps is played.

And the hope is to continue the tradition for as long as the United States holds Memorial Day services. The first Memorial Day events were held to honor the Civil War dead.

In Kansas City, the WWI museum dedicated 80 news names to its walk of honor on Monday. The walk commemorates those who devoted their lives to freedom.

Two generations traveled from North Carolina to see a tribute brick laid for Lt. J.G. Winston's service.

"We got a brick for my grandfather, Johnny Winston, from Franklin County, NC, who served in World War I in France," his grandson, Charles Goode, explained. He added that it was special to be able to honor his loved one.

At the Kansas City museum, re-enactors welcomed visitors and gave them a taste of life during the war years. The hope is to remember those lost.

"We remember the American soldier, all of them," said Mary Davison Cohen, chair of the museum's board of trustees. "No matter what year, no matter what war, they have presented us with our most precious gift: the gift of freedom."

Special events at the museum will commemorate the war in the coming months. Next year is the 100th anniversary of the war's beginning.

"Kansas Citians built this monument high on this hill so that we would never forgot the high cost of freedom," said Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

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