Communities set Memorial Day observances

By Gary Mitchell

Memorial Day has a significance that local veteran Larry Frappier and his colleagues want to make sure the nation doesn’t forget.
“It’s a day you’re honoring your fallen comrades,” said Frappier, who serves as secretary for the Joint Veterans Council in Clovis, the sponsor of the community’s annual Memorial Day Observance. “It’s always on Memorial Day. We put on a nice ceremony, and it’s usually well-attended.”
This year’s ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the Mission Garden of Memories, 2900 W. Seventh St.
“We’ve done this every year as long as I’ve been a part of the Joint Veterans Council,” said LeeAnn Lam, event chairman for the JVC. “We do it to pay honor to veterans — those living and those deceased. Ceremonies like this will be done all across the nation.”
In Muleshoe, the Bailey County Cemetery Association will conduct its annual Memorial Day service at the cemetery at 10 a.m. (CDT) Monday.
The Boy Scouts will initiate the ceremony with a flag raising and pledge of allegiance, followed by messages from local veterans and songs to honor those who have served and currently serve in the armed forces, according to organizers.
At the Clovis Memorial Day Observance, Chief Master Sgt. James C. Randall, 27th Security Forces Squadron manager at Cannon Air Force Base, will be the guest speaker.
A career Security Forces member, Randall spent the majority of his career in support of nuclear security and contingency operations. He has served as an instructor, a field supervisor of emergency services flight and has performed duties as a Department of Defense nuclear surety inspector.
A native of Gowanda, N.Y., Randall is married to the former Norma J. Ratliff, who is a registered nurse. They have three children.
Tech. Sgt. Mark Rix of Cannon will serve as master of ceremonies.
The pledge of allegiance will be led by representatives of the Girl Scouts of America, followed by the singing of the national anthem by members of the Clovis High School Choir.
Taps will be performed by Trey Burns of the Clovis High School Wildcat Band. A rifle salute will be done by the Cannon Air Force Base Firing Party.
The Boy Scouts of America will serve as the wreath escort for the wreath presentation.
Color guards from the various veterans’ organizations and auxiliaries will participate in the observance, under the direction of retired Army National Guard 1st Sgt. John Montano.
Elsewhere, Portales observes Memorial Day with two separate ceremonies, one by the American Legion at 10:30 a.m. Monday and an earlier ceremony by the United Daughters of the Confederacy at 9 a.m.
In addition, Portales Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9515 puts flags on the graves of veterans for Memorial Day.
The 10:30 a.m. ceremony will run for about an hour with Rev. Farrell Odom as its speaker and a color guard from Cannon Air Force Base. Portales will also honor its two “Gold Star Mothers” — women who lost children in war.
Both are at Portales’ cemetery.
A Melrose event, sponsored by the Melrose Chamber of Commerce, will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday rather than on Memorial Day. Rev. Danny Sanders of First United Methodist Church will speak at the event in Melrose Cemetery.