Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958 Veterans of Foreign Wars will host its 66th Annual Memorial Day Services beginning at 10 a.m. on the Scotland County Courthouse lawn on Monday, May 28th. John Eggleston of Memphis, will be the featured speaker at the event coordinated by VFW program chairman Donnie Middleton.
Guests will witness a small parade around the Memphis square as VFW members will be joined by their fellow veterans, following the color guard through a lap around the square prior to the start of the ceremony.
Post Commander Larry Curry will welcome the guests prior to the traditional placing of the memorial wreath by Clark Mustoe and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Charles Harris.
Mark Denney will offer the invocation prior to the performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” by the Scotland County R-I band. The Memphis Community Players will provide patriotic musical selections for the crowd’s entertainment.
First Judicial Circuit Judge Gary Dial will have the honor of introducing the featured speaker of the day.
Eggleston is a veteran of the Vietnam war. The Scotland County graduate is active in the agriculture and ethanol industries.
The Memorial Day Services will close with a rendition of “Sleep Soldier Boy” sang by Tom Cotton. Denney will offer the benediction and the VFW members will present a 21-gun salute while TAPS is played by Melinda Briggs, with Echo by Randan Kraus.
In case of inclement weather, the services will be moved indoors to the VFW post.
Members of Girl Scouts troops #9085 and #9086 will assist the VFW Ladies Auxiliary with sales of “Buddy” Poppies throughout the week and prior to the event. Since 1922, the Buddy Poppy has been an integral part of the VFW community. As the group’s official memorial flower, the red Poppy represents the bloodshed by American service members while signifying that the VFW will never forget the sacrifices.
Originally, poppies were imported from France following World War I, but the lengthy and costly process was replaced as the national VFW organization began paying disabled, hospitalized and aging veterans to make paper flowers to be distributed to members.
Proceeds from the Poppy sales are used for veteran’s programs, including aiding orphans of veterans, like the more than 2,100 children of veterans cared for in the VFW National Home in Eaton Rapids, MI.