They are getting grayer each year and there are fewer of the most senior among them, but the chairs still fill at the annual Memorial Day tribute to veterans in Payson.
The Payson Patriotic Events Committee and the Town of Payson are presenting four different tributes to veterans who have died in service to the country and honoring those who have defended and continue to defend it. The programs will take place over the course of two days – Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27.
Everyone is encouraged to attend at least one of the ceremonies and if at all possible the entire quartet.
• The Annual Pioneer Cemetery Tribute is at 8:30 a.m., Sunday, May 26 at the Payson Pioneer Cemetery, at the corner of South Vista and Mesa, just north of the Payson Golf Course. There will be a flag-raising ceremony and the cemetery will be open for visitation. The Pioneer Cemetery Board sponsors the program.
• The Annual Mountain Meadows Tribute in Round Valley is at 10 a.m. Taking place at the Mountain Meadows Memorial Park, Messinger’s Payson Funeral Home sponsors the program with the support of the Payson Patriotic Events Committee, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.
• A special flag-raising ceremony will be held at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino flagpole at 8 a.m., Monday, May 27. The program includes speakers, patriotic and bagpipe music as well as the National Anthem, an invocation and benediction.
• The primary Memorial Day Tribute is at 10 a.m., Monday, May 27 at the Green Valley Park Veterans Memorial. Hosted by the Payson Patriotic Events Committee and the Town of Payson, the program will open with patriotic music and be brought to order by a narrator, who will introduce Bill Sahno, Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (retired) of the PPEC who will offer a welcome. Father Lowell Andrews will give the invocation, followed by a presentation of the colors by the Civil Air Patrol Cadets with the National Anthem. Scheduled to speak following the CAP Cadets are Mayor Kenny Evans, Tonto Apache Tribal Council Chairwoman Louise Lopez, Payson Police Chief Don Engler and Payson Fire Chief Marty deMasi. Eric Landau will present a medley of tunes on the bagpipe and offer a rendition of Amazing Grace as well.
As part of the program there will be a tribute by the Payson Military Honor Guard, which will also present the service flags of the various branches of the armed forces, a rifle salute and Taps. Father Lowell Andrews will present a benediction.