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Newton area veterans remember fallen comrades on Memorial Day

Hansen gives keynote speech at indoor memorial service

Published: Monday, May 27, 2013 11:28 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, May 27, 2013 11:37 a.m. CDT
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Newton Mayor Mike Hansen gave the keynote speech at this year's Memorial Day service held at the Marshall F. Foch VFW Post 1655 in Newton. Hansen is a veteran of the Vietnam War. Bob Eschliman/Daily News
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The honor guard and firing squad from the Newton American Legion Post 111 performed a Salute to the Deceased at the conclusion of Monday's Memorial Service. Bob Eschliman/Daily News
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Veterans, spouses and members of the community packed into the meeting room at the Marshall F. Foch VFW Post 1655 in Newton on Monday to take part in a joint Memorial Service conducted by the VFW, American Legion Post 111 and the Jasper County Veterans. Bob Eschliman/Daily News
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A joint color guard of VFW Post 1655, American Legion Post 111 and the Jasper County Veterans took part in Monday's Memorial Service in Newton. Bob Eschliman/Daily News

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.

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