County honors veterans on Memorial Day

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Switzerland County held Memorial Day observances this past Monday morning with a special program held at the Veterans Monument at the Switzerland County Courthouse.

This year’s observance was hosted by the Vevay VFW Post #5396, which alternates with the Vevay American Legion Post #185 each year in coordinating the event.

Paul Schmitt of the VFW served as the master of ceremonies, and welcomed a large crowd out on a hot and sunny day. Switzerland County High School student Amber Turner sang The National Anthem; and the opening prayer was given by Reverend George Reed, a retired Army chaplain now living in Vevay.

Paul Schmitt told the audience about the significance of Memorial Day, and pointed to an empty chair placed in front of the podium in honor of those POWs and MIAs who are still unaccounted for. He also honored Art Adams, a longtime member of the VFW and American Legion who recently passed away, but who was a big part of Memorial Day and Veterans Day activities.

Members of the VFW Auxiliary, Carolyn Hysell and Ruby Graham, also spoke on the importance of Memorial Day; and the featured speaker for the afternoon was Vevay Newspapers editor Pat Lanman, who also serves as the pastor of Olive Branch Baptist Church.

Paul Clark then sang “God Bless America”, and after the first verse, he invited members of the audience to join in singing the chorus.

The honor guard then fired the traditional 21-gun salute in honor of the fallen veterans; and “Taps” was played. The ceremony ended with everyone singing “God Bless the USA.”

At the conclusion of the ceremonies, members of the honor guard moved to the Vevay Cemetery, where they repeated the 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps”.