Bill Williams to speak at Memorial Day event
The community of Red Oak will honor the courage and loyalty of those in the armed forces who sacrificed their lives to keep America free.
The Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Court of Honor will present a Memorial Day program beginning at 10:45 a.m. May 29 at the southwest corner of the Evergreen Cemetery.
This year’s guest speaker is Bill Williams, who, along with his wife, Evonne, formed Patriotic Productions in 2011 with the mission of honoring the military Gold Star families and to promote patriotism. While not veterans themselves, honoring those who are has been a highlight of Bill and Evonne’s lives.
The Williams are also the co-organizers of the Honor Flights of Nebraska. Thanks to many generous donations, more than $2 million in funding has been raised to organize 13 Honor Flights for 3,500 Nebraska veterans as well as a couple of dozen veterans from southwest Iowa over the past 11 years.
“There have been seven Honor Flights for World War II veterans, two flights for Korean War veterans, two flights for Vietnam veterans, one all-female flight and the final flight was for Purple Heart recipients from Iraq and Afghanistan. Two Red Oak men, Larry Barnett and Stan Pfeiffer, were on the Vietnam Combat Honor Flight June 6, 2016,” Williams said
Williams added he and wife Evonne are the creators of the Remembering Our Fallen exhibits: photos of the fallen from Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The Iowa exhibit has been traveling the state since May 1, 2011, and has been seen by thousands. It will be on display at the Wilson Performing Arts Center on Sunday, May 28, for the concert by the Marine Band from New Orleans,” commented Williams
The national Remembering Our Fallen Tribute Towers are 34 towers containing photos of 5,500 of the fallen in the War on Terror. There are two versions, both exactly the same. very important to highlight the issue of Alzheimer’s and to get the word out.
“We’re not getting any younger, and it’s very prevalent. There still aren’t a lot of answers to how to cure it or to even treat it. This event will help raise money to give towards research to find the answer. My grandmother had it, so I felt the effects personally,” commented Shackelford. “While everyone has a chance to get it, sometimes you feel you have an increased chance. I’ve also taken care of several people who were very important to me that had dementia, which made the issue even more important to me.”
Following the May 26 event, Shackelford said she is hopeful she can host the events on an annual basis, and continue having Davison perform.
“I would love to. We’ll just see how it plays out and go from there. It won’t have a specific date, it will be based on Davison’s schedule and when she can perform,” stated Shackelford.
A free will offering will be accepted for the meal. A raffle will also be held with prizes donated by local businesses.
“Among the raffle prizes are tickets to the Henry Doorly Zoo, Top Golf, monthly memberships to the Montgomery County Family YMCA, and Lied Center passes in Clarinda. We’re getting a good variety of stuff. It’s a great opportunity to give back,” Shackelford commented.
All the funds raised will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. Shackelford said she’s looking for some extra hands to help out.
“If anyone wants to volunteer, I need volunteers to help get set up, take down, serve food, and help with the raffle. Nobody is ever turned down who wants to provide assistance,” Shackelford said.
For more information or to volunteer, call Shackelford at the Villisca Good Samaritan Society at 826-9592.