By Brian Livingston / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
Small American Flags will line the drive from 23rd Avenue to the back section of Magnolia Cemetery Monday in honor of those who gave their lives for the freedoms Americans enjoy today.
Scattered among the many headstones that will also be seen left and right of the drive are the names of those men and women who gave their lives to the United States. Their names will ring out across the vast spaces so that all will know who they are.
Bill Arlinghaus, owner and operator of Magnolia Cemetery and Meridian Memorial Park Cemetery on Highway 80 West, believes this year's event will eclipse last year's ceremony that proved both inspirational and moving.
"Our keynote speaker will be Mayor Cheri Barry and our featured speaker will be Jim Swartz," Arlinghaus said. "We will also have some special surprises as well. We always try to keep the program fresh while at the same time honoring those who have died for us."
The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. and last for about an hour, Arlinghaus said. Magnolia Cemetery is on 23rd Avenue in Meridian.
Arlinghaus said the service will be dedicated to Billy Calvert, a veteran who gave his life to his country while in service.
Arlinghaus said a roll call of those who have been buried in the cemetery in the past year will be read off. NAS Meridian will provide an honor guard to salute those soldiers with a 21-gun salvo.
"I have confirmation from numerous county and local officials who will be attending," Arlinghaus said. "We will have chairs set up for everyone but feel free to bring you own if you want. There will be plenty of room for everyone."
Arlinghaus said local musician Amy Lott will provide Taps played on a clarinet.