, Muskogee, OK


May 22, 2014

A weekend of ceremony, celebration

Muskogee area residents will be celebrating Memorial Day in a number of ways.

The following is a list of celebrations that will take place.

• The Cherokee Nation will honor Cherokee warriors and all veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in a wreath-laying ceremony at 3:30 p.m. today.

The ceremony will be held at the Cherokee Warrior Memorial, next to the new Cherokee Nation Veterans Center. It will include the raising of the flags, performances by the Cherokee National Youth Choir and remarks by Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden.

Tours of the new Veterans Center and a small reception will also be held following the ceremony.

Information: (918) 453-5000, ext. 6147 or 5695.

• First Baptist Church will have a special service to honor veterans at 10:45 a.m. Sunday. All veterans are invited.

• Memorial Day services honoring area veterans who died between May 1, 2013 and May 1 this year will be conducted Monday by Chaplain Forrest Kirk of the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center. Floretta L. Leatherman has compiled the names, dates of death and branches of service of area veterans and their places of interment.

The first ceremony will be at 9 a.m. in Memorial Park Cemetery on Taft Road, west of Muskogee. From there, the ceremony moves to the VA Medical Center in front of the Doughboy Statue at 9:30 a.m. The group will then proceed to Booker T. Washington Cemetery at U.S. 69 and Fern Mountain Road for a service at 10 a.m. Finally, at 10:30 a.m., the service will be held at Greenhill Cemetery on North York Street. Information: (918) 348-5182.

• Fort Gibson National Cemetery will hold its annual Memorial Day service at 2 p.m. Monday. The guest speaker will be J. Guymon, the commandant of the Tulsa Marine Corps League, and state Rep. Jerry McPeak will be the master of ceremonies. Other speakers include Jason McClellan, the VA Regional Office director, and James Floyd, the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center director.

Special music will be provided by the Westville High School Choir, Muskogee Community Band and the Cherokee Singers and Drummers. Colors will be presented by the Cherokee Nation Honor Guard and Keetoowah Band Honor Guard. In addition, a rifle volley will be performed by members of the American Legion Post 15.

Information: Bill Isbell, (918) 478-2334.

• Taft’s 45th Memorial Day celebration kicks off today at 5 p.m. with Kids’ Day until 10 p.m. in downtown Taft. Saturday, vendor booths open at noon, and a street dance will take place from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday, there will be a religious service at noon in the Taft Resource Center. Vendor booths will open at 1 p.m., and there will be a fashion and talent show from 7:30 to 10 p.m. in the Taft Resource Center. Monday, vendor booths open at 11 a.m., at the annual parade begins at noon.

Information for the parade: Kasandra McGee, (918) 683-0568, Juanelda Lee, (918) 682-7920 or Lelia Davis, (918) 683-2203. Vendor booth information: $40 per day, contact Carmelia Clincy or Kasandra McGee, (918) 683-0568 or (918) 683-2203.

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