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Vietnam veteran Bill Ryan to speak at Morris' Memorial Day program

MORRIS – Morris’ annual Memorial Day program will begin at 9 a.m. at the National Guard Armory in Morris on Monday, May 26.

The featured speaker is Vietnam veteran Bill Ryan of Paynesville.

Ryan joined the Army when he was 18 and was stationed in Chu-Chi, Vietnam.  In March 1967, he was injured when the vehicle he was in hit a landmine and he spent a year recovering. Ryan was an ag teacher at the Paynesville Area High School for 26 years, retiring in 2004.  

Following the ceremony at the Armory, there will be a march to the Veterans Memorial at the corner of Seventh Street and College Avenue where the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5039 of Morris will conduct ceremonies.

As part of the ceremony, the senior vice commander, Bill Leonard, will place a wreath of red flowers at the base of the Memorial as a symbol of those lost. The junior vice commander, Doug Anderson, will place white flowers as a symbol of purity. The president of the Post Auxiliary, Joan Kopacek, will place blue flowers at the base of the Memorial as an emblem of eternity to immortalize the deeds of those who died in service.  Post commander Ted Storck will then place a small flag at the Memorial and renders a silent salute to the departed.

Then there will be a firing squad, and Taps played, and the Carillion bells will peal out The Star Spangled Banner.

Then, the names of those from Stevens County who died in World War II will be read. The VFW Auxiliary has a list of 59 men who died and still researching if the list is complete.

All are invited to both services, and then to the Legion for refreshments.