Needles holds traditional Memorial Day ceremony
NEEDLES — With temperatures in the 70s plus a cooling breeze, dozens congregated in Needles’ Riverview Cemetery to show their appreciation for those who defend and protect the United States, both those who have died and those who are still living.
Traditional Memorial Day ceremonies were organized by Natalie Johnson of FatCatDJ services and delivered by more than two dozen participants.
The ceremonies included prayer, music, inspirational readings and lists of military and emergency responders who have died.
Kerry Otterstrom spoke as a member of the American Legion, quoting a call for American unity by Maj. Brent Taylor, Army National Guard officer, husband, father of seven, and mayor of North Ogden, Utah, at the time he was killed by a member of the Afghan National Security Forces he was helping train at a base in Kabul last fall. He was 39.
As always, the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe played a big role in the ceremonies with Chairman Timothy Williams reading a lengthy list of tribal members who served in the military who have died; a welcome in Mojave and English, and performance of traditional bird dances by FMIT Royalty accompanied by the Rez Life Bird Singers; and a closing performance by the Fort Mojave Indian Tribal Band, originally formed in 1906.
A much-loved tradition at the Needles’ observance in recent years, living veterans lined up holding an American flag to receive handshakes, hugs and thanks for their service from those attending.