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Library will honor vets

“When most people think of Memorial Day, they obviously think about memorials and those who have gone on to a better place,” Demopolis librarian Connie Lawson said. “But we need to do something to not only incorporate the fallen soldiers, but the ones who are over there right now and those who have returned.”

Thus Lawson, with the help of local VFW member Lee Belcher, has organized a special Memorial Day program to recognize the troops for their dedication to our freedom.

Tomorrow at 10 a.m., residents will gather at the Demopolis Public Library on East Washington Street to “Honor Our Troops.”

“This is the first year we’ve ever done something like this. I just wanted to do something to show appreciation for all of our local troops,” Lawson said, “And, as the adult librarian, I am trying to think of programs that will bring those who usually don’t come to the library.”

After being welcomed by head librarian Lindsy Gardner, the audience will join the Rev. Aaron Raulerson in a special prayer, before soloist Rosemary Fish sings the “National Anthem.”

Edward Fendley will briefly discuss Flanders Field, before guest speaker 1st Lt. Steven Witherington from the 200th Engineer Battalion of the Alabama National Guard in Linden takes the stage.

“He will talk about the war in Iraq, why we are fighting it and give his point of view,” Lawson said about the Black Belt resident who recently returned from the battlefields of Iraq. “At the end of his presentation, there will be a question and answer period for those who may have questions.”

Area Boy and Girl Scouts will also be present to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Although she isn’t sure about the number of troops who will actually show for the event, Lawson hopes to have a decent turnout for tomorrow’s program.

“I just want to make sure our local troops get the recognition they deserve,” she said. “They’ve done so much for us.”