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Veterans Day program to honor those who served in wars past and present

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - The Williams community can commemorate Veterans Day this Tuesday with a patriotic play and a flag burning ceremony.

The Veterans Day program "So We Shall Not Forget" will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 11 at the Williams Elementary-Middle School (WEMS) Auditorium.

Local veteran groups, the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce and Wild West Adventures put their heads together to come up with the idea for the event.

"I contacted them and mentioned that we don't do anything on Veterans Day for the veterans here," said American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars member Rodger Ely. "We have a lot of memorials for people on Memorial Day and stuff for veterans that have passed away, but we don't do anything for all veterans."

About five years ago, Wild West Adventures put on a patriotic play at the Sultana Theater to raise money for the Williams Own Veterans Memorial, and organizers decided bringing back the play would be an ideal way to honor those who served for Veterans Day.

The hour long play will outline the history of America's participation in wars and will feature actors, dancers and musicians.

"This is something just to remind us all that wars are ongoing and we have to support our troops, and by putting on this play just to remind us it will be a thank you to the veterans present and past," Ely said.

Admission is free, and tickets are available at the American Legion Cordova Post #13, at the Williams and Forest Service Visitor Center, and at the door. The Matthew James Broehm Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12128 will serve as ushers.

"We're going to try to sit the veterans in the front," Ely said. "We want to pack the place if we can."

Although admission is free, donations will be accepted for the Williams Epsilon Sigma Alpha Sorority's Christmas box program. The group sends care packages to local service men and women who are deployed for the holidays.

The American Legion Cordova Post 13 will put on a reception after the program.

WEMS is at 601 N. Seventh St. More information about the play is available at (928) 635-0273.

Flag burning

Also on Veterans Day at 3 p.m., the American Legion Cordova Post #13 will put on a flag burning ceremony. The Legion puts on two flag burning ceremonies each year, one on Veterans Day and one on Flag Day on June 14, according to member Fred "Perico" Avila.

"That's when we usually have the flag burning to dispose of the flags that have seen their days," Avila said. "They served their purpose and it's only proper to burn them in a ceremony and invite the people."

Avila said the flag burning ceremony is a nice way to show respect for Old Glory, as well as to also show respect for veterans on Veterans Day.

"It's for everybody that served their country, it's to honor the veterans," Avila said. "For me, I always look forward to those days, being a veteran myself."

The Legion is at 425 W. Grant Ave. More information is available from Avila at (928) 635-2446.

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