The Veterans of Foreign Wars Marshall F. Foch Post 1655 played host to this year's joint Memorial Day Service in Newton. A packed house of veterans, spouses, and members of the community packed the room for the 45-minute ceremony Monday.
Levi Pence, recently returned from the last Jasper County Freedom Flight to Washington, D.C., served as Master of Ceremonies for the event. After a short speech to call the event to order, he ordered the posting of the colors by a joint color guard comprised of members of Post 1655, American Legion Post 111 and the Jasper County Veterans.
Gene Scarbrough then led those in attendance in the singing of the National Anthem, followed by the invocation by Rev. Eldon Pals. Elizabeth Pearson, a student at Newton Senior High School performed "America the Beautiful."
Mayor Mike Hansen, a veteran of the Vietnam War, then gave a brief but touching speech in tribute to those who have served, those who continue to serve, and those who serve the men and women serving in uniform. His speech was followed by the placement of wreaths in honor of:
• The Unknown Soldier
• Gold Star Mothers
• Spanish-American War Auxiliary
• Women's Relief Corps
• World War I
• World War II
• Veterans of Foreign Wars
• Navy Mothers, Marine Corps and Coast Guard
• American Legion Auxiliary
• LaFemmes Cabane No. 283
• Barracks 1503 World War I Auxiliary
• Jasper County Korean Veterans Wives
• Diabled American Veterans Auxiliary
• Jasper County Vietnam Veterans Wives
• Middle East and Kuwait
• NATO, Kosovo and Bosnia
• Global War on Terrorism
• Daughters of the American Revolution
Following the placement of the wreaths, Randy Wagner then read the names of veterans with Jasper County connections who had passed away in the past year. That was followed by a performance by a quartet of NHS students, including Pearson, Lauren Henderson, Tim Stammeyer and Vinny Hoskins.
Rev. Pals then gave a brief benediction, at which time the ceremony moved outdoors where the American Legion honor guard and firing squad performed a Salute to the Deceased. Stammeyer played "Taps" on the trumpet.