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10:46 AM Wed, Nov. 21st

Local events honor veterans' sacrifices on Memorial Day

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->A bagpiper plays “Amazing Grace” after the wreath-laying at the 2010 Memorial Day ceremony at Citizens Cemetery in Prescott.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->A bagpiper plays “Amazing Grace” after the wreath-laying at the 2010 Memorial Day ceremony at Citizens Cemetery in Prescott.

If you're looking for a ceremony to honor our veterans on this Memorial Day, there are three locally to remember those who gave their lives for our country.

"We will pause as individuals, families, a community and a nation to offer our thoughts and prayers for all who passed in defending our nation," said Ame Callahan, spokeswoman for Northern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

At 9 a.m. on Monday, people can bring their family to an hour-long Memorial Day observance at Citizens Cemetery in Prescott that is modeled after a ceremony that took place there more than a 100 years ago.

The ceremony features military reenactors, a brass ensemble and bagpipes at the cemetery located along East Sheldon Street behind the black iron fence, said

Pat Atchison, longtime chair of the Yavapai Cemetery Association, which cares for the county-owned cemetery.

Then at 11 a.m. Monday, residents are invited to the Northern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System's Memorial Day Ceremony at the Bob Stump VA Medical Center at 500 Highway 89 North to honor the sacrifices that make our freedoms possible, Callahan said.

The program will feature remarks from Rep. Karen Fann and VA Medical Center associate director Jim Belmont, a procession led by the Camp Verde Calvary, Arizona Rough Riders and much more, Callahan said.

Women from various veteran service organizations will create an aisle of honor and present wreaths at the bronze Battlefield Cross.

As we remember the sacrifices of our veterans, we will grieve for the families who have lost a loved one, Callahan said.

In Chino Valley, Commander Mel Vinson of the American Legion Post 40 invites people to attend Memorial Day services that start at 11 a.m. Monday at the Chino Valley Cemetery.

Native American Gourd Dancers will bless the cemetery where nearly 200 veterans rest with sage and eagle feathers.

Guest speakers Sgt. Alfonso Santillan Jr. USMC (ret.), a Vietnam veteran and Veterans Hall of Fame inductee, and Toney Largo, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, will share their thoughts about their comrades.