U.S. Navy Lt. Commander James G. Reed (left) and Marine Corps Master Gunnery Srgt. Willie Nimer together do the honors during the flag-raising and memorial dedication service Saturday morning at Miller Grove Cemetery to honor the community's veterans.
The family of Robert "Jack" Ferguson (sitting) watch military officials walk by after presenting him with the flag which was raised during the dedication ceremony. Pictured are Jack's wife, Lanita (right), and her brother, Doyle Cranford (left), with his wife, Paula.
Staff Photos By Angela Pitts

Veterans honored at flag-raising ceremony, memorial dedication

By BRANDON DARROW, News-Telegram Correspondent

July 28, 2008 - A large crowd was on hand Saturday morning at Miller Grove Cemetery to pay tribute to the communities heroes who serve in the U.S. military.

About 70 people attended the flag-raising and memorial dedication ceremony overseen by the Miller Grove Cemetery Beautification. A flagpole and the memorial had been installed the previous week thanks to a donation by Robert "Jack" Ferguson and his family in memory of all past, present and future veterans of Miller Grove.

Ferguson is a World War II veteran who grew up in Miller Grove and now resides in Arlington.

The ceremony began at 8:30 and lasted about 45 minutes and included remarks from U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Commander James G. Reed, who became affiliated with the Miller Grove community through the Ferguson family and said he felt at home in the community after reading books like "Tales from Miller Grove," written by Dr. Patsy Johnson Hallman, who grew up listening to the storytellers of the community.

Ferguson, who now teaches in the Metroplex, also grew up knowing the Cranford family. Ferguson's wife's maiden name was Cranford.

Reed also delivered the invocation, while Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. W. Nimer, the featured speaker, talked about the duty of the U.S. armed forces.

Jim P. Burns accepted the honor of the veteran's memorial flagpole and plaque on behalf of the Miller Grove Cemetery Association.

Members from the Hopkins County Military Coalition were also present for the dedication.

The military personnel raised and lowered an honorary flag that was given to Jack Ferguson because of his contribution in donating the flagpole. Then, another flag was raised while Anna Letha Ferguson joined Christina and Don Miller in singing "The Star Spangled Banner."

Mrs. Oma Lea Nelson and Dr. Patsy Hallman made closing remarks, while Johnny Ferguson gave the benediction.

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