Altenthal-Joerns American Legion Post 158 in Jackson will once again sponsor a Memorial Day celebration in Uptown Jackson this coming Monday, May 29.
Because of temporary fencing on the old courthouse lawn to keep people away from the building as its interior is being remodeled, the Memorial Day ceremony has been moved from the courthouse lawn back to the entrance of City Cemetery on South High Street.
There will be limited seating available. The public is being asked to bring lawn chairs.
Patriotic songs played masterfully by the Jackson Municipal Band will fill the air with music to kick off the program at 9 a.m.
A complimentary brunch will be served to the public in the American Legion Hall following the ceremony.
Two guest speakers will address the audience during this year’s program.
Linda Venable is a regent of the John Guild Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. She is a member of a several other organizations including the Missouri State Society Daughters of the American Revolution Regents Club, the P.E.O. Chapter DJ, and the Rotary Club of Southeast Missouri Service.
The retired elementary teacher serves as assistant softball coach at Saxony Lutheran High School and is a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Kantorei Choir and Concordia Guild-LWML.
The other speaker is Commander Lawson B. Burgfeld, a 1964 JHS graduate who entered the U.S. Navy in 1966.
Starting out as an enlisted man, Burgfeld earned his commission as an ensign, air deck officer on April 4, 1986. Eleven days later, he participated in the Libyan air strikes, serving as the assistant crash bos’n on the USS Coral Sea. He later served on five other aircraft carriers: USS Okinawa, USS Saratoga, USS Abraham Lincoln, USS Dwight Eisenhower and the USS Nimitz.
Burgfeld retired in 2006 after four decades in the Navy. His awards include the Navy Commendation Medal with two gold stars, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Expeditionary, Global War on Terrorism, National Defense Medal with two bronze stars, Vietnam and Kosovo Service, plus several other campaign and personal awards.
He is a past commander of Post 158 and is currently the post historian.
New this year will be a temporary memorial dedicated to the memory of those who served in the military but whose headstones can no longer be read. This memorial will consist of a U.S. flag, a P.O.W./M.I.A. flag and the flags from the six branches of military service with wreaths in front of each one. There will be a poppy wreath in the middle.
This memorial was a project of the Rotary Club of Southeast Missouri Service and will be placed in City Cemetery on Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Wreaths Across America Day. It will be placed in a grassy area of City Cemetery where there are no headstones and will not infringe upon any graves.
Once again, Post 158 will place flags at the headstones of veterans in City Cemetery and Russell Heights Cemetery prior to Memorial Day.
If you or your service group would like to help place the flags, be at the entrance to City Cemetery at 5 p.m. this Friday or at the entrance to Russell Heights Cemetery at 8 a.m. This Saturday. Your help will be greatly appreciated!