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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Local Families Honored at Fallen Vietnam Veterans Ceremony

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On Saturday, September 28, at 2 p.m., members of the families of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War were honored.

The auditorium at Ramsey Junior High in Fort Smith filled with those who came to pay tribute to those fallen heroes. Dignitaries, including State Representative Marcus Richmond, Senator Terry Rice, Scott County Judge James Forbes, Mayor Buddy Black and others were also present.

The ceremony, emceed by Daren Bobb, marked the 44th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. Following the posting of the Colors by the Honor and Color Guard, the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by VFW Post 8845 Commander Jeff Harness. VFW Post 8854 Chaplain Charles Hollibough gave the invocation.

There were 29 families present, representing the veterans who fought and sacrificed their lives in the Vietnam War. Survivors and disabled American Veterans of the Vietnam War were also recognized.

Advocate Jonathon Baker shared the reading of the “Missing Man Table Tribute.” In that tribute, Baker explained the significance of the small round table that is always set but never occupied, the Missing Man Honors Table.

Two of the guest speakers, Commander Jeff Harness and Representative Marcus Richmond, spoke with conviction and great emotion.

“They did not loose their life, they gave it,” Harness said. Richmond admitted he had pondered all week on his speech. “I have no words. There are no words to emphasize how we are all touched by the sacrifice.” Richmond, a career Marine, stated that the greatest thing that the State of Arkansas has contributed is “our sons and daughters. They’ve done their duty, and done it with honor.”

Local families that were honored during the ceremony included: William Arvel Boatright of Abbott; Billy Duane Crelia of Huntington; Jimmy Cartright of Mountainburg; Larry Neil Harper, Karl Lewis Reineccius and David Frank Schluterman all of Paris; and Johnny F. Davis of Waldron.

The ceremony concluded with a slide show of the 60 fallen veterans, 21 gun salute, taps and the retiring of the Colors.

Vietnam-war-sacrifice
Family representing American Hero Johnny F. Davis from Waldron.
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Family representing American Hero William Arvel Boatright of Abbott.
Family representing American Hero Billy Duane Crelia of Huntington.
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Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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