On a partly cloudy day with winds 28 mph gusting to 40mph(!)Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day) was observed in WVMP on the last Monday of May, 2022. A good-sized crowd made their way down the flag-lined entry sidewalk to gather in front of the Park’s Flag Pavilion for the event.
The commemoration ceremony began with the tolling of 6 bells (11 am) on the Park’s “Milan Bell.”
As the sounds of the bell wafted faded in the breezy park, the American and US Air Force flags were marched in by color guard from nearby McConnell AFB.
WVMP bugler John Noonan played the National Anthem for the crowd after which the crowd participated in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Following the invocation by WVMP Chaplain Charles Eatson, chairman of the Wichita Veterans Memorial Park Board John Offerman addressed the crowd on Decoration/Memorial Day from the perspectives of the past, the present and the future.
The ceremony drew to a close with a 21-gun salute fired by the local Marine Corps League rifle team. As the sounds of the last volley fired were replaced by the first bugle notes of “Taps” each veteran in the Park snapped to attention and rendered the hand salute for the duration of the song. A great many of the non-veterans in the Park stood with their hands over their hearts as Taps was played.
After the moving Memorial Day commemoration ceremony ended, a great many in attendance spent some time admiring the 18+ memorials in the Park’s 5+ shaded acres by the River.