Celebration A 'Tribute Of Remembrance'

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Payson's 2001 Veterans Day service, subtitled "A Tribute of Remembrance, Rededication, Resolve," will be held Monday morning at the new Arizona Veteran's Memorial in Green Valley Park.

According to program organizer Lee Pretsch, the schedule of events for this year's celebration will unfold like this:

10 a.m. A patriotic prayer gathering will begin as a prelude to the official proceedings.

11 a..m The official proceedings, expected to last approximately 45 minutes, will involve the participation of the Luke Air Force Color Guard, the Civil Air Patrol whose members will be distributing red, white and blue commemorative ribbons to all attendees, musical presentations by the Payson High School Band and Honor Choir, as well as a cowboy band led by musician Ron Gibson, and a live performance of the official Army bugle call, "Taps."

Local, military and political dignitaries scheduled to speak include Payson Mayor Ray Schum, who will officially recognize the tribute by signing and presenting an official proclamation, Congressman Matt Salmon, and Lt. Col. David Althoff a highly decorated Marine combat aviator whose name was enshrined in the state Aviation Hall of Fame last year.

On display throughout the event will be an American flag made up entirely of fresh flowers, courtesy of Payson Florist.

11:45 a.m. to noon Sharesse Von Strauss of the Rim Country Museum will conduct a flag-raising ceremony with the participation of the Arizona Public Service's "cherry picker" in front of the museum directly across the parking lot toward Green Valley Park Lake. Admission to the museum will be free of charge on Veterans Day, from noon to 3 p.m.

In the event of inclement weather, Payson's Veterans Day service will be moved to the Payson High School auditorium.

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