Veterans and Community Members Attend Memorial Day Ceremony at McCune Cemetery | New

McCUNE — Merle Clawson, 96, Louis Sachetta, 97, and David Hobson, 101, were among veterans who attended a Memorial Day service at McCune Cemetery on Monday.

Not only that, but these three gentlemen risked their lives for the freedom of all Americans.

Veterans and community members came to the cemetery on Monday to honor those who fought for the United States. Presidents paid their respects and honored veterans as the winds blew violently, but that didn’t stop Monday’s event.

During the service, veterans and community members were able to view the restored monument built 132 years ago at the cemetery. It was originally dedicated to the Grand Army of the Republic.

Clawson served in World War II in the Navy. He said he felt pretty good Monday at the ceremony.

Sachetta served in France during World War II with the army. He was a military policeman at the end of the war.

“Feels good,” Sachetta said of being on Monday’s service. “A little windy, but it’s nice.”

Sachetta, of Scammon, said the restored monument was magnificent.

Sachetta’s son, Kerry Sachetta of Joplin, attended the service with his father.

“It’s always great to celebrate accomplishments and remember our fallen soldiers. It’s a solemn remembrance every year,” said Kerry, who is the superintendent of Joplin Schools. “At the same time, those we have with us, it is important that we recognize their achievements. My dad is 97, so all these different types of activities and times are special for us because we know he lived a long time. It’s just great to be with him on days to celebrate his work and his time in the military.

During World War II, Hobson of Cherokee served in England and Scotland with the army.

He said he was thrilled to be at Monday’s service.

“Doing really good,” he said on Monday.

Dick Raunikar, also a veteran who served in the Vietnam War with the military, helped organize Monday’s event and did the work needed to restore the monument. Roy Parsons and Jay Stewart also helped Raunikar restore the monument.

“It is an honor and a privilege to have you here today,” said Raunikar. Raunikar lives right next to the cemetery.

The monument honors the Grand Army of the Republic, prisoners of war and fallen veterans as well as the US Space Force.

Maj. Cortney Neblett spoke at Monday’s ceremony. She thanked Raunikar and the town of McCune for their efforts with the monument and the organization of Monday’s ceremony.

“I really want to thank Mr. Raunikar for a great and successful day, even considering the wind,” she said. “I appreciate each of you for being here.”

She also spoke at the inauguration of the monument.

Additionally, Neblett thanked those who served, those currently serving, and those who lost their lives fighting for America’s freedom.

“We are touched by your sacrifices and salute the displays of courage and strength that you have undoubtedly shown throughout the most difficult times,” she said.

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