Today: May 31 , 2020

Commemorating Memorial Day at the Citizen's Cemetery

29 May 2012  

Secretary of State Ken Bennett led the Memorial Day commemoration at the Citizen's Cemetery.

It's a cemetery surrounded by graves from the 1800's. Some of the grave markers are wooden, and their inscription is barely readable. It's not a pristine lawn that carpets the graves, but wild grasses and natural vegetation. Close your eyes for a minute, and you can see the hoop skirts and wool suits; the sound of the nearby traffic from Sheldon Street disappears.

That was the setting for Monday's Memorial Day commemoration, where not only those that have fallen in defense of our country are honored, but also the history of Arizona's oldest official Territorial Capitol.

Roughly 300 people joined together for the program, led by several local dignitaries, including Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who acted as Master of Ceremonies.

During the Procession, community organizations were honored, some dating back to times before Arizona became a state. Representatives from area veteran's groups were introduced. A wreath was placed carefully at the flagpole. Current and historic flags waved gently in the breeze.

Those making presentations were in period clothing - including Prescott Mayor Marlin Kuykendall, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Masher, June Thurman, the Director of Arizona Highway 69 C of C, History Teacher (and Supervisor District 1 candidate) Kelly Cordes and Secretary Bennett.

Those who had served in the Armed Forces had the opportunity to stand when the song was played representing their branch of the military. It was poignant to see a 90+ year old man stand with difficulty, propped up by a nearby companion, singing the words to the Army anthem proudly.

The speeches and the readings were what one might expect, heartfelt and appropriate to the occasion. At the end, Secretary Bennett unexpectedly picked up his guitar and chose to sing a song, instead making closing comments.


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Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She will be leaving for new adventures on May 15, 2020.