Waukon Memorial Day Observance will feature Voice of Democracy National Finalist; No parade being held this year

Sean Liddiard ... Submitted photo.

The 2018 Memorial Day Observance Program being held at Oakland Cemetery in Waukon Monday, May 28 will begin at 10 a.m. this year. In the event of rain, the program will be held at the Waukon Banquet Center.

The program at the cemetery has typically followed the annual parade, but this year’s Memorial Day observance will not include a parade, according to local officials. A joint decision was made by the local American Legion and VFW organizations to not hold the parade this year, citing reasons of “lack of participation” and “too much commercialization taking away from the true meaning of what Memorial Day is supposed to be about.”

Volunteers will still be needed to help set up the Avenue of Flags Saturday, May 26, beginning at 7 a.m. Those efforts will begin at the Allamakee County Courthouse in Waukon.

This year's Memorial Day Observance Program at Oakland Cemetery will feature a presentation by Waukon High School junior Sean Liddiard, who was a national finalist for the 2018 Voice of Democracy student essay contest sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and its Auxiliary. Liddiard is the son of Dan and Kelly Liddiard of Waterville and his essay advanced through the ranks of the local, district and state of Iowa competitions earlier this year to be one of just 53 essayists nationwide to be chosen as a national finalist for the competition.

At that national competition held in Washington D.C. in March of this year, Liddiard was awarded the Department of Tennessee Cooper T. Holt-John Furgess Scholarship - one of 17 $1,000 scholarships. This year’s essay contest theme was “American History: Our Hope for the Future”.

Also being featured this year at the Waukon Memorial Day event will be the presentation of Quilts of Valor to local veterans. Approximately 15 veterans will be honored with that display during the May 28 ceremony.

Anyone seeking more information on the Memorial Day Observance Program in Waukon should contact Heather Homewood at the Allamakee County Veterans Affairs Office at 563-568-6135.

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