SHOW LOW — The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9907 in Show Low conducted a Memorial Day ceremony at the Show Low cemetery on Monday. It included many veterans and their families, dignitaries, speakers, a bugle rendition of “Taps,” a wreath-laying ceremony and a 21-gun salute.

Present were Show Low Mayor Daryl Seymore, city council members Crittenden, Allsop, and Kelley, City Manager Ed Muder, Navajo County Board of Supervisor Steve Williams and Show Low Police Chief Joe Shelley. But the real stars of the program were the veterans, past and present.

Keynote speaker Dr. Gerald Hunsicker, Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.) summed up the mood by quoting a line from the last scene in Saving Private Ryan, (which still brings tears to his eyes, he said) where a survivor stands over the grave of his fallen captain and says, “I hope I live a life worthy of the sacrifices you made.”

Hunsicker served in the 503rd parachute regiment in Vietnam. He notes that humor and light-hearted rivalry between military branches lifted the spirits of the men and women who served. For example, Hunsicker listed some “rules” that the various branches must observe. Navy Seals, he said, must adjust speedos frequently, look good in sunglasses and check the mirror at all times. He quipped that the Air Force rules include seeing what’s on HBO, adjusting the thermostat on the AC, and building bases as far as possible from the conflict. For the Navy: Go to sea, drink coffee, and when trouble starts, call in the Marines.

Hunsicker hopes that the brave men and women who gave their lives “are in God’s arms and smiling at the jokes,” he said.

The day was clear and sunny but very windy. In fact, the stand which held the flags of the four armed services blew over, but was quickly righted with the help of Boy Scouts. Amy Wang performed a moving rendition of “Taps” after a wreath laying ceremony which was at a haunting display of a pair of empty boots in which stood a rifle, topped by a helmet. A reception followed at the VFW Post in Show Low.

Reach the reporter at rlynch@wmicentral.com

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