Memorial Day observances to include living history groups
Two Memorial Day observances will take place in Prescott on Monday, May 27.
The annual Memorial Day observance at Citizens' Cemetery along East Sheldon Street takes place at 9 a.m., organized by the Yavapai Cemetery Association. Attendees should park at neighboring Yavapai College lots.
That observance is modeled after one that took place at the same cemetery in 1910, including a procession featuring local fraternal organizations and the Prescott City Council.
Living history groups in historical garb will include the Arizona Rangers, Camp Verde Cavalry, Arizona Rough Riders, Sons of Confederate Veterans and Elks Opera House Guild.
Numerous veterans groups also will attend.
Government officials participating in the ceremony include Congressman Paul Gosar of Prescott, Secretary of State Ken Bennett of Prescott, Yavapai County Supervisor Craig Brown, Prescott Mayor Marlin Kuykendall and Prescott Police Chief Jerald Monahan.
Prescott High School senior Melody Startzell will sing the National Anthem, and Abia Judd Elementary School 5th-grader Emily McMahon will sing God Bless America. Both girls will lead the audience in singing America the Beautiful.
Other performers include the Prescott Brass Ensemble, Veterans Memorial Pipers Corps, and John Stevens and Tom Kolsbun playing Taps.
Sacred Heart Catholic middle- school students participated in an essay contest about Memorial Day, and the top two essayists will be the wreath layers at Saturday's ceremony. Seventh-grader Miranda Todd took first place and eighth-grader Thomas Daniels was second. Teacher Selby Collison will speak, and student Theresa Gutierrez is reading Todd's essay.
The National Cemetery Administration also will conduct a Memorial Day ceremony at the Prescott National Cemetery on Monday. It's in place of the previous annual ceremony at the Bob Stump VA Medical Center on the traditional Memorial Day of May 30.
The Prescott National Cemetery event near the intersection of highways 69 and 89 starts at 11 a.m. Parking will be limited, so a shuttle service will be available at the nearby Bob Stump VA Medical Center off Highway 89.
The community also is invited to join the National Cemetery staff in placing flags on the gravesites at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 25.
Guest speakers at the Memorial Day observance will include Cynthia Riddle, Memorial Service Network coordinator for the National Cemetery Administration and its 131 VA national cemeteries. Yavapai County Supervisor Rowle Simmons also will speak.
The national cemetery event also will include the presentation of colors, musical salutes, wreath presentation, 21-gun salute and Taps.