A familiar face will take the podium on Monday as the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars hosts its 70th annual Memorial Day Services on the Scotland County Courthouse lawn.
Judge E. Richard Webber will be the featured speaker for the event. Webber, the Senior United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri, traces his legal roots back to Scotland County. He served as the First Judicial Circuit Judge in Memphis from 1979 until 1995. On August 10, 1995 he was nominated by President Bill Clinton for the federal judge position. He assumed senior status with the district court in 2009.
Born in Kahoka, Webber, attended the University of Missouri and graduated from the Missouri School of Law in 1967, when he moved to Memphis and started work as the prosecuting attorney before ultimately becoming a judge.
VFW Post Commander Larry Curry and program chairman Donnie Middleton will open the 70th annual Memorial Day services at 10 a.m. Don Norton and Mike Stephenson will perform the placing of the wreath at the soldiers’ memorial. Bill Camp will lead the gathering in the pledge of allegiance and Les Richmond of Ignite Ministries will lead the invocation. The Scotland County school band will perform the National Anthem followed by a patriotic music selection by the Memphis Community Players.
Presiding First Circuit Judge Gary Dial will have the honor of introducing his friend and college, Dick Webber.
James Parker will perform Sleep Soldier Boy with the piano accompaniment of Connie Courtney prior to the benediction by Richmond.
The service will close with the traditional 21 gun salute by the VFW rifle squad with the playing of Taps by Melinda Briggs with echo provided by Chris Kempke.
In case of inclement weather, the services will be moved indoors