Two events honor vets this Memorial Day weekend
WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Williams residents and visitors have several opportunities to honor veterans this Memorial Day weekend with a community celebration and memorial service.
The Matthew J. Broehm VFW Post 12128 and the America Legion Cordova Post 13 are hosting a barbecue, wreath laying, historical reenactment, and a flag ceremony with rifle squad at Monument Park Sunday, May 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
"This is a memorial service, but it is more a celebration," said American Legion member Rodger Ely. "This is the first year we have done this."
"Perico is having the service at the cemetery but I thought it would be great to also do a ceremony in town," Ely said. "This way more people in town can participate. I want to invite the community to go to this and any of the tourists."
The American Legion Cordova Post 13 is putting on a memorial service at the Williams cemetery on Monday, May 30 at 11 a.m.
Debbie Campbell and Pamelia LaPaglia will sing with guitar accompaniment. Veteran Thomas Ross and Williams Baptist Church Pastor Joe Oswald will speak at the event. The ceremony will take place at the cross of the Unknown Soldier.
"We've been doing this for at least 40 years," said event organizer and American Legion member Fred "Perico" Avila. "I took it over in the later part of the 50s. For me, being a veteran, I take a lot of pride in working with the community and veterans."
Avila is a service officer with the American Legion. He helps veterans who need medical assistance seek care at the VA Hospital in Prescott. He also helps organize funerals.
"It's my commitment to do it," Avila said.
Avila recalled that during his remarks one year at the memorial service, he reminded people of the true meaning of Memorial Day.
"I want people to take time to honor our veterans," Avila said. "Memorial Day is very important. It's a time to honor all those people who have lost their lives, all the men and women."