Memorial Day Events

Headstones at Pioneer Cemetery tell veterans' stories


Created in 1882, the Pioneer Cemetery encapsulates some of Payson's finest history. Members of at least four major American wars -- the Civil War, World War I, World War II and Vietnam -- share eternal rest at the peaceful site.

Three Civil War veterans are buried in the Pioneer Cemetery. After the war, they traveled West and ended up in Payson.

Benjamin Franklin Cole, of the Texas Cavalry and a member of the Confederate Army, survived the brutal war. He died in 1898.

Another fellow Confederate soldier lies inside the wrought iron gates of the cemetery. John Edward Simmons, a private in Company M of the 8th Missouri Cavalry, lived until 1916.

Cole and Simmons will receive Confederate flags at their markers, this Memorial Day.

Paul Vogel is the sole Civil War representative for the Yankees in the cemetery. He was a member of Company C of the 24th Illinois Infantry. Vogel lived until 1930.

Veterans of all armed services will be honored today by caretakers of Pioneer Cemetery.

Veterans will receive a flag at their gravestone and be remembered on a day marked as "Payson Remembers."

Other tributes

All are invited to join with friends and neighbors to remember those who have died in our nation's service, and to honor those who continue to serve.

The annual Pioneer Cemetery tribute will begin at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 27 at Payson Pioneer Cemetery on South Vista Road. The event will feature a speech by Anna Mae Deming, a rendition of the national anthem, concluded by the sounding of "Taps."

Messinger Payson Funeral Home and Mountain Meadows Memorial Park cordially invite you to the sixth annual Memorial Day program, to be held at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 27 at Mountain Meadows Memorial Park on Upper Round Valley Road.

A flag will be placed at the head of every veteran's grave by the VFW and the American Legion.

The program will begin with a flag-raising by the Payson Military Honor Guard and bugler Don Harrie, followed by a prayer by Pastor Lynn Richie. The featured speaker will be Major Phillip Prince. There will also be a special tribute to remember those who have served in the armed forces. At the conclusion of the program, refreshments will be served.

A flag-raising ceremony will begin at 8 a.m. Monday, May 28 at the Mazatzal Casino flagpole. A ceremony and patriotic music will follow.

A Memorial Day tribute begins at 10 a.m. Monday, May 28 at Green Valley Park's veterans memorial. The program is presented by the Payson Patriotic Events Committee, and includes patriotic music, posting of the colors, guest speakers, a tribute by the Payson Honor Guard, a bagpipe rendition of "Amazing Grace," and much more.

For more information, call Col. Bill Sahno, USMC (Ret) at (928) 472-6617.

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