Though it was a make-up school day for the GISD and children from Pioneer Elementary School could be seen and heard playing during recess a couple of hundred yards away, the annual Memorial Day ceremony in Graham saw more than 100 people gather in the new gazebo area of Pioneer Cemetery Monday morning.

People of all ages showed up to the service at the cemetery off of Fourth Street to pay their respects to fallen veterans of every American war since the Civil War. The service began with Graham Boy Scout Troop 92 presenting the colors, and was followed by a welcome from local VFW Graham Memorial Post #8567 Commander Mike Downey, who remarked after the event that he was happy with the turnout at the solemn event. VFW Chaplain Gerald Peterman was unable to attend due to a prolonged hospital stay, as Downey noted during the service.

After the invocation and the collective singing of “We Gather Together,” Grahamites were treated to the special music presentation of “Voices From the Heart,” performed by the First Baptist Special Ministries Choir.

Soon after, musician Chris Gibson delivered an emotional guitar performance of both “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” which was followed by a reading of Mary Elizabeth Frye’s poem “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep,” read by post Commander Downey.

Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.