photo: Avenue of Flags at Memorial Day ceremony, Centralia Cemetery, Centralia, Missouri.

Avenue of Flags at Memorial Day ceremony, Centralia Cemetery, Centralia, Missouri.

27th Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Parade
downtown—Broadway, ending at the Courthouse on Walnut St
9:55 am-10:30 am
A 165-unit parade “Jump-Started” by The Golden Knights Parachute Team bringing the American and Canadian Flags into intersections on Broadway in downtown Columbia. The aircraft from the Airshow fly cover overhead as a tribute to fallen comrades. The Parade is specifically to Honor and Remember Those Who Served and Those Currently Serving in Our Armed Forces, Guard, Reserves and Our Allies. Only members of the Military Services and related fields are allowed in the Parade. There are no politicians and there is no commercialism in the Parade. The Parade ends at the Boone County Courthouse where a Military Ceremony takes place.

27th Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Military Ceremony
Veterans Memorials, Boone County Courthouse, 705 E Walnut St, Columbia MO 65201
10:45 am
Immediately following the Salute to Veterans Parade a Military Ceremony is held at the Veterans Memorials at the Boone County Courthouse in downtown Columbia, Missouri. The Columbia Community Band plays, the Honored Guests on the platform are introduced to the crowds, along with veterans of WWII and military recruiters. 50 wreaths have been placed at the Memorials to the Veterans of WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm. A speech on the meaning of Memorial Day will be given by the ranking military officer Honored Guest, followed by “Amazing Grace” by the Boone County Fire Protection District Bagpipers, a 21-Gun Salute by the VFW and then Echo Taps will bring to an end the 6-day Salute to Veterans Celebration.
* Columbia Community Band, Wreaths placed, Speech by the Ranking Military Honored Guest, introduction of Tuskegee Airmen, WASP, and the Veterans and Military Recruiters on the Platform.
* Service Songs; “Amazing Grace” by the Bagpipers; 21-Gun Salute and Echo Taps to end the 27th Annual, 6-Day Salute to Veterans Celebration.

5th Joe Machens Cares for Kids
Columbia dealership locations (listed below)
9 am-5 pm [FCMo note: We were unable to confirm, but believe these to be the hours on Memorial Day]
As part of their fundraiser for Children’s Hospital, Joe Machens Dealerships have free activities planned at all of their locations.

Joe Machens Ford Lincoln (1911 W. Worley)
• Bounce House – All Day (at 1911 W. Worley & 416 Vandiver)
• Barnyard Buddies – 11am to 1pm (at 900 Bernadette)
• Balloon Artist- 12pm to 3pm
• Face Painter – 12pm to 3pm

Joe Machens Toyota Scion (1180 Vandiver)
• Bounce House – All Day
• Caricaturist – 12pm to 2pm
• TJ the Tiger – 11am to 12pm

Joe Machens Hyundai (1300 Vandiver)
• Bounce House – All Day
• Variety Act – 1pm to 2pm

Joe Machens Nissan (201 Nebraska)
• Bounce House – All Day (at 201 Nebraska & 1717 N. Providence)
• Face Painter – 12pm to 2pm
• Obstacle Course- 12pm to 4pm

Joe Machens Automotive Group (500 Vandiver)
• Bounce House – All Day
• Obstacle Course – 12pm to 4pm

Joe Machens Volkswagen (1200 Vandiver)
• Bounce House – All Day
• TJ the Tiger – 12pm to 1pm
• Variety Act – 2pm to 3pm

Joe Machens Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram (1310 Vandiver)
• Bounce House – All Day
• Variety Act- 12pm to 1pm

Memorial Day Services and the Avenue of Flags
Centralia Cemetary, 104 S Collier St, Centralia, Missouri

6:30 pm
While this memorial event is outside of Columbia, it is an impressive event worth attending, with the Avenue of Flags (more flags are added every year). In the past they have had a military helicopter on the grounds for visitors (especially kids!) to check out.

VFW Post 6276 will host Memorial Day Services and the Avenue of Flags at the City Cemetery. The guest speaker will be Capt. Ryan Ball. There will be more than 410 flags on display, and over 600 veterans are buried in the City Cemetery. The services will be moved to the First Baptist Church (101 S Collier St, Centralia MO 65240) in the event of rain.

The Avenue of Flags idea was brought to the Centralia Cemetery Advisory Board by Cemetery Advisory Board member Jan Hollis in July 2005. She had seen the display in Neodesha, Kansas, and thought it would be nice for Centralia to have an Avenue of Flags Display. The City Cemetery Advisory Board consisting of the following members: Thelma Chandler, Chester Fritch, Jan Hollis, Greg Pauley, Oneda Roberts, Vickie Simmons, and Phyllis Brown. The cemetery board worked closely with several organizations including the VFW Post, the Centralia Flower and Garden Club and area citizens to form the Avenue of Flags Committee. Active members of the committee besides the cemetery board members are: Dennis Mills, Mary Frances George, Marjorie Motley, Don Bobbitt, Don Bagley, and Kathy Colvin. Anyone is welcome to attend the meetings as volunteers are very important to this organization! Guidelines were prepared to be eligible for a memorial flag to be display for a veteran. The Committee’s goal was to have all the area veterans killed in action (KIA) flags flying by Memorial Day 2006. With community donations and lots of volunteers approximately 120 flags were flying Memorial Day 2006 including 25 KIA flags. As of May 2012 the display grew to 372 flags. The display is simply breathtaking and has been known to stop traffic. Weather permitting the flags will fly on Memorial Day weekend through Anchor Festival weekend, July 4th and Veteran’s Day.