By Kris Smith
On Monday morning, the Kerens Veterans Memorial will host its’ tenth year Memorial Day event in downtown Kerens.
The event will begin at 10: 30 AM, with a flyover of WWII era aircrafts, by the Corsicana Coyote Squadron with a collaborative rendition of the National Anthem, sung by Dr. Shellie O’Neal and the raising of the very large United States flag.
Recently, the Kerens Veterans Memorial was chosen as one of the seven memorials in the entire state of Texas to be visited by the Veterans Tour of Honor. Danny Combs, Director and spokesperson for the Kerens Veterans Memorial, stated, “Many veterans on motorcycles have visited since April and left their Tour of Honor medallion -somewhere inside the memorial.”
Annually, the memorial hosts a Memorial and Veterans Day program open to the public, which according to Combs, is attended by close to 125 attendees. Combs stated, “Last year, the Memorial Day program was attended by over 250 patriots, which was followed by a ‘meal in the park’. This year’s event will be followed by a lunch, which will be held within the KESA building for all to enjoy.”
This year, Combs and his team of dedicated volunteers and sponsors will open the Veterans Military Museum, located right across the street. The building was donated to the Kerens Veterans Memorial to be used strictly for the museum. Much renovation was needed and has since been remodeled to serve the veterans of the community. The museum has been most fortunate in the acquisition of military artifacts that will help to create a most enjoyable experience to those visiting.
Items donated to the museum include bayonets (of different eras), military rifles, military issued items such as WWI US Army issued shaving kits, and so much more. Items of special interest will be the Authentic 7’x6’ Nazi German flag which will be on display, and for ONLY ONE DAY – Memorial Day – a solid bronze angel statue. The statue measures at 3 and ½ feet tall and was rescued from the rubble of a bombed church during the invasion of Italy. The statue has never been displayed within the United States and is on loan to the Veterans Military Museum for Memorial Day only!
Everyone is encouraged to attend the Memorial Day event and tour the museum after the Memorial Day program and luncheon!
** Publisher’s Note: I left Corsicana for a decade and returned to find this memorial – when I left, it was only a shovel in the ground. I was moved to tears and could not believe how outstanding the view had become. Every single American war and/or conflict is featured in this Memorial and is a tremendous tribute to all who have served and sacrificed. As a descendant of many American war heroes and a surviving wife of a hero who willingly put his life on the line for the Desert Shield/Storm conflicts, I am moved with each visit to the memorial park. It is definitely worth the trip. **