Roger Harmon and Marty Peters

American Legion Auxiliary Unit 50 member Marty Peters pins a red poppy on Johnson County Judge Roger Harmon’s lapel. Both encouraged residents to wear a poppy on Friday in honor of National Poppy Day and to attend one or all of several Memorial Day events scheduled Sunday and Monday.

Helen Patton, granddaughter of Gen. George Patton, will be one of the guests of honor during Sunday and Monday Memorial Day weekend events in Johnson County.

Events are planned at the Cleburne Memorial Cemetery, the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum and Alvarado VFW 9299.

American Legion Auxiliary Unit 50 member Marty Peters was on hand during Monday’s Johnson County Commissioners Court meeting as County Judge Roger Harmon proclaimed May as Johnson County Memorial Poppy Days.

Peters reminded all that Friday is National Poppy Day as per Congressional resolution and urged all residents to wear a red poppy that day, and throughout the Memorial Day holiday weekend, in honor of veterans. 

Harmon agreed.

“My father was a veteran,” Harmon said. “I’m named after his best friend who was killed in World War II. We owe a lot to our veterans and I certainly hope our young people and teenagers coming up understand the sacrifices our veterans have made so that we can have the freedoms we enjoy today. We owe our veterans, those who are still alive as well as those who have passed on.”

Peters urged residents to take time to read the poem “In Flanders Fields” by Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae. The poem, written during World War I, references the red poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers.

Peters also invited all to Cleburne’s Post 50 American Legion Family’s annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday.

This year’s ceremony is at 10:30 a.m. at Cleburne Memorial Cemetery, 402 Waters Street.

“But we have two ceremonies this year,” Peters said. “The first is the program we traditionally have at the cemetery every year where we’re surrounded by the graves of our veterans who gave so much. So I hope people come out for that and bring their children along.”

The second program on Monday is at 2 p.m. at the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum, 101 Chisholm Trail Drive in Cleburne.

Scheduled speakers at that event include Patton, singing World War II veteran Buck Sloan, a Gen. Patton re-enactor, cowboy singer Clayton Reed, Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain and others.

A noon lunch is also scheduled that day at Cleburne’s American Legion Post 50, 313 W. Chambers St. 

All three events are open to the public.

Helen Patton and Sloan are also scheduled to appear at Alvarado VFW 9299 from 2-6 p.m. Sunday. The VFW is at 6732 E. U.S. 67 in Alvarado.

That event will include military vehicles on display, a remembrance presentation for families and other activities.

For information, call 817-783-8787.

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