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Memorial Day program set for courthouse lawn

Everyone is invited to the shady front lawn of the old county courthouse in Uptown Jackson to honor America’s military men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30.

The Altenthal-Joerns American Legion Post Post 158 in Jackson will again sponsor a Memorial Day program to start the day off right.

Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and enjoy a half-hour of patriotic music performed by the Jackson Muny Band starting at 9 a.m.

The guest speaker this year is Libby Johnson, administrator at the Cape Girardeau VA Health Care Center. She is a native of Perryville and a veteran of the U.S. Navy (2002-2008).

While in the military, she served as a Chinese linguist and intelligence analyst, and she received the Joint Service Commendation Medal and Navy Commendation Medal for her work with the National Security Agency and Cryptologic Security Service.

Following active duty, she worked for the Department of the Army as an intelligence officer at Fort Carson, CO, and Fort Campbell, KY.

After returning home to Southeast Missouri in 2011, Johnson continued serving her country through a career with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Prior to her current position, she was the associate director at the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center in Poplar Bluff.

Johnson currently resides in Cape Girardeau and is married to Joshua John-son (ret. CPO, USN.) They have two children; Jacob and Rebecca.

As part of the ceremony, Jackson High School graduates who are going into the military will be honored. They include: Michael Alexander, Marines; Wyatt Alexander, Marines; Bryce Bell, National Guard; Luke Brotherton, Army; Kenneth Cole, Marines; Henry Darlage, Army; Jeffrey Erlbacher, National Guard; Alejandro Garcia, Marines; Zaiden Hardamon, Marines; William Lewis, National Guard; Sam Malone, U.S. Naval Academy; Adam McNeely, National Guard; Tanner Mitchell, Marines; Alex Peteson, Army; David Thompson, Navy; Landon Woeltje, National Guard; and Nicholas Yanes, Army.

The couthouse lawn has a steep hill on the east side (Barton Street), and barricade tape will be placed along that hill to prevent attendees from walking that hill and potentially falling. Please respect the barrier and enter the courthouse lawn safely from other entry points.

Free refreshments will be served by the Legion Auxiliary at the Legion Hall following the ceremony.

The American Legion will once again post flags at the tombstones of veterans prior to Memorial Day.

If you or your service group would like to help, please show up at the old City Cemetery at 5 p.m. on Friday or at Russell Heights cemetery at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Please wear comfortable shoes for walking. All help will be greatly appreciated.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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