Citizens pay tribute to those who defended freedom, national security

During the service and the earlier parade, members of the Local American Legion Women's Auxiliary and V.F.W. Auxiliary decorated veterans' memorials with ceremonial wreaths. Participating in the tribute were Auxiliary members Sharon LaGoy, Marge Parker, Fran Poltanis, Doreen Cooper and Mary Kenyon.

Legionnaire Eugene Pierce noted that Carson Parker had served as Post Commander for nearly 17 years, and he was stepping down in early June. The crowd applauded Parker for his Post leadership and his service to the community. Ray Hensler is to take over the position in several weeks.

Stephen Andrews, Pastor of Warrensburg First Methodist Church of Warrensburg, offered the benediction. "Shall we remember those who have faithfully served their country, and praise them for their willingness to give up their lives for our country," he said.

In the parade, Gerald "Bucket" McNeill served as Grand Marshal. Dressed in a tall black top hat, he rode in a red 1965 Chevrolet Corvair convertible driven by Lew Granger. Born in Warrensburg, McNeill served for the U.S. in the Korean War from 1951 through 1955.

Sunlight glinted off polished fire trucks and chromed axes carried by members of the Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Co. in full dress uniform. They were joined by firefighters hailing from Thurman.

Emergency medical responders from Warrensburg and Thurman also paraded, along with local scouts and young ball players, all striding to the town cemetery.

The Warrensburg High School Marching Band, accompanied by a flag-twirling corps, offered music along the way, as well as during the memorial ceremonies.

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