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Harrisburg celebrates Memorial Day in grand style

  • Honor guard member Lora DeLapp takes aim along with other honor guard members at the end of Harrisburg's Memorial Day ceremony Monday.

    Honor guard member Lora DeLapp takes aim along with other honor guard members at the end of Harrisburg's Memorial Day ceremony Monday.
    TRAVIS DENEAL PHOTO

  • Harrisburg resident and Korean War veteran Don Cooper is recognized for his many years of volunteer work for the Veterans Memorial at Sunset Lawn Cemetery.

    Harrisburg resident and Korean War veteran Don Cooper is recognized for his many years of volunteer work for the Veterans Memorial at Sunset Lawn Cemetery.
    TRAVIS DENEAL PHOTO

  • Keynote speaker Glenn Poshard champions the preservation of American freedoms and rights during Harrisburg's Memorial Day ceremony Monday.

    Keynote speaker Glenn Poshard champions the preservation of American freedoms and rights during Harrisburg's Memorial Day ceremony Monday.
    TRAVIS DENEAL PHOTO

  • Michael Hillegas DAR members Sharon Pyle, left, and Cheri McClusky place a memorial wreath on a stand.

    Michael Hillegas DAR members Sharon Pyle, left, and Cheri McClusky place a memorial wreath on a stand.
    TRAVIS DENEAL PHOTO

  • The Harrisburg Veterans Memorial "Little Arlington" area displays American flags.

    The Harrisburg Veterans Memorial "Little Arlington" area displays American flags.
    TRAVIS DENEAL PHOTO

  • Members of Harrisburg's Scouts BSA and Cub Scouts lead the Pledge of Allegiance at Harrisburg's Memorial Day ceremony Monday.

    Members of Harrisburg's Scouts BSA and Cub Scouts lead the Pledge of Allegiance at Harrisburg's Memorial Day ceremony Monday.
    TRAVIS DENEAL PHOTO

 
By Travis DeNeal tdeneal@dailyregister.com
updated: 6/3/2021 4:57 PM

HARRISBURG -- Harrisburg celebrated Memorial Day with the spirited words of Glenn Poshard honoring the country's deceased servicemen and servicewomen for protecting America's hard-won freedoms.

Poshard, a former congressman for the region, in addition to serving as state senator, gubernatorial candidate and president of the Southern Illinois University system, gave a stirring speech recalling the lack of rights colonists suffered prior to the American Revolution. He invoked former presidents Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and Thomas Jefferson in reiterating why American rights and freedoms must not be ignored.

Poshard thanked veterans who gave their lives for not only protecting the rights of Americans but also fighting for those freedoms against dictatorial control in other countries.

"We will ensure that these deaths will not have been in vain, that this nation shall have a new burden of freedom," Poshard said.

Several members of the community also were recognized for their contributions. Harrisburg High School graduate Blake Eversmann was recognized by the Michael Hillegas DAR chapter for his work cleaning the crosses of the Little Arlington area of the Harrisburg Veterans Memorial. Eversmann's sister, Kirsten Eversmann, was asked to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Harrisburg resident and Korean War veteran Don Cooper was recognized for his years of fundraising and efforts to create the veterans memorial. Vocalists Teresa Pankey, better known as Mama T, and Devin Hankins sang music for the event as well. Harrisburg Scouts BSA members and Cub Scouts led in the Pledge of Allegiance. DAR Regent Kathy Morris read "In Flanders Fields" and DAR members Cheri McClusky and Sharon Pyle placed a wreath on a stand in remembrance of deceased military members.

An honor guard 21-gun salute and "Taps" finished the ceremony, which Harrisburg Mayor John McPeek continues to grow each year.