2014 Memorial Day at Mount Pulaski Cemetery
(2014) Schedule <-- click here
Miss Madison Haley was keynote speaker at both Mount Pulaski
Memorial Day Services: Mount Pulaski Cemetery and Steenbergen
Cemetery. Her essay won 1st place at the National Veterans of
Foreign War’s annual Voice of Democracy Competition in Washington
D.C. this past March, 2014.
The award to her was $30,000 in addition to the weekend
all-expensed paid trip for her and her parents. Madison also
won additional cash awards at VFW Illinois Department, VFW District
10 and local Mount Pulaski VFW Scroggin-Gee Post 777. Former
and now deceased long-time CBS journalist, Charles Kuralt, won the
very initial VFW Voice of Democracy competition in 1948.
Madison read her essay:
“Why I’m Optimistic About Our Nation’s Future”, receiving a
long-deserved standing ovation. Her essay may be read simply
by typing her name and VFW 2014 into
or by clicking on this URL:
“Madison Haley VFW 2014 Winner”.
Winning essays were also read by Mount Pulaski Grade and High
School students, Emma Schoth, and Andrew Moody: “What Memorial
Day Means to Me”, which is annually sponsored by the Mount Pulaski
SAL Squadron 447. Several Mount Pulaski High
school students were recognized for their selection to the annual
American Legion Girls and Boys State summer conventions.
President Bill Clinton was once a Boy State attendee in the State of
Arkansas; and then was selected by his peers to represent his state
at the annual Washington D. C. American Legion Boy’s State Nation
Convention, where he met and shook hands with then President John F.
Kennedy. The various
Mount Pulaski military veterans, civic, volunteer
organizations laid wreaths at the base of the Mount Pulaski
Veteran’s Memorial, high on the knoll at the south-east side of the
cemetery. Also in uniformed-attendance: Mount Pulaski
Boys, Girls and Cubs Scout organizations, Mount Pulaski
Phoenix Fire Department, Mount Pulaski EMS, Mount Pulaski VFW
Scroggin-Gee Post 777, Mount Pulaski American Legion Ryman-Fuiten
Post 447 and Mount Pulaski SAL Squadron 447.
The Mount Pulaski Grade and High School combined band
provided patriotic music and a beautiful rendition of the Star
Spangled Banner. Reverend Mark Weber of Mount Pulaski First
Christian Church gave a well-received Invocation and Benediction.
Master of Ceremonies was former Mount Pulaski American Legion
Post 447 Commander, Bob McCue, who also gave commands to the
American Legion and VFW veteran’s and SAL Honor Guard, which fired a
3-round salute. Bugler Alan Roos trumpeted out taps.
The service was well-attended by an enthusiastic mixture of
veterans and their families and descendants, friends and classmates
of veterans and of those who made the supreme sacrifice, and by
other very patriotic locals
young and old.
text and photos by phil bertoni