The Turnbow-Higgs American Legion Post 240 and Auxiliary Unit 240 will continue a 16-year tradition when they host a Memorial Day ceremony at 9 a.m. Monday at the West Memorial Cemetery, Veterans Field of Honor.
Post 240 Commander Burton Smith will welcome attendees and make opening comments to begin the ceremony. Le Roy Griffin, post chaplain, will deliver the invocation followed by the raising of the American flag.
Guest speaker will be Dr. Matt Hallgarth, who will then take the podium to deliver the Memorial Day address. Hallgarth is a retired Air Force major, veteran of the Bosnia/Kosovo war and is currently associate professor of philosophy and religious studies at TSU.
He taught for many years at the United States Air Force Academy teaching ethical theory, military ethics, medical ethics, history of philosophy, American philosophy, philosophy of religion, independent studies and ethics for the USAFA Scholar’s Program.
Dr. Halgarth commissioned through Officer’s Training School in May of 1989. He was deployed to Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of operation JOINT FORGE in 1998-1999, and has been awarded many military decorations, including the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal, among others.
Following Hallgarth’s address, other highlights in order of succession are:
• Laying of the Wreath by Halgarth and Kathy Geffre, president of Auxiliary Unit 240
• Closing comments by Burton Smith
• Benediction by Le Roy Griffin
• Rifle salute by the Turnbow-Higgs Post 240 Honor Guard
• Playing of Taps by Jim Cox
Asked to comment on the importance of Memorial Day, Post 240 adjutant, Roger Easter said, “Turnbow-Higgs American Legion Post 240 veterans will be but a few of the millions of Legionnaires located throughout America doing their part to remember our fallen heroes on Memorial Day.
“We must never forget the families of our fallen. Long after the battlefield guns have been silenced and the bombs stop exploding, the children of our fallen warriors will still be missing a parent. Spouses will be without their life partners.
“Parents will continue to grieve for their heroic sons and daughters that died way too early. We need to be there for them, not just as members of The American Legion family – but as American citizens. Nobody can replace these fallen heroes, especially in the eyes of their families, but we can offer shoulders to cry on, assistance with educational expenses and assurances that their loved one’s sacrifice will not be forgotten."