ALTON - Led by historian Richard Baird, the Annual Memorial Day Sunset Program at Alton’s National Cemetery will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 27, 2024.

Baird is a well-known local Altonian and Vietnam Veteran is the Creator, Producer, Director, MC, and contact for the Memorial Day Sunset Program at Alton’s National Cemetery.

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On May 27, 2024, the Memorial Day Sunset Program will mark its 19th anniversary on Pearl Street in Alton, just off Broadway and around the corner from Fast Eddies Bon Air. Alton’s National Cemetery is the site of the activity beginning promptly the designated start time.

Participants for 2024 include a student, Elijah Baird, from St. Ambrose who will lead the Pledge of Allegiance, Nola Effinger, from Marquette Catholic High School in Alton, will sing the National Anthem, Erin Scwartz, from MCHS, will sing America The Beautiful; Alton Fire Department Pipes and Drum will perform, as will the Air Force Jr. R.O.T.C. Cadets from Alton High School, Mayor David Goins of Alton will speak, prayers conducted by Adrian Das of Westminster Presbyterian Church, and Taps will be played with a live trumpet.

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Jefferson Barracks Assistant Director, Darrell Ryan, will represent the National Cemetery Administration. This program has been recognized by the NCA as one of the nation’s finest at a National Cemetery over the Memorial Day Holiday weekend. Attendees are advised to bring lawn chairs or a blanket to sit on as limited seating will be provided.

Richard Baird said the “location, ambiance, and reason for this ceremony is grand,"

"This is necessary, and an honor for all presenters given this unique opportunity to participate in a history-making event," he said. "Freedoms stretching across America can become convoluted with cultural malice; yet, those who sacrificed their lives to perpetuate the five freedoms found in the 1st Amendment, are heroes and held in the highest esteem.”

For more information: Richard Baird @ {618} 401-4017 or richardbaird53@gmail,com

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