Monday, May 25, Memorial Day, 10:00 AM, at the State Cemetery (909 Navasota at East 7th ST.), the Thankful Hubbard Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) the Patrick Henry Chapter of Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) sponsored the special Memorial Day Service which is held at this time every year. The service toook place in the Gallery of the Museum.
This year’s speaker was Lt. General Paul E Funk ( Ret.) Lieutenant General Funk has held every significant leadership position in the Army from Platoon Leader through Commander of the III Armored Corps and Fort Hood, Texas. A highly-decorated combat veteran with extensive service in both Vietnam, and in Iraq during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Lieutenant General Funk is also a well-recognized educator, holding a Doctorate in Education from Montana State University. Lieutenant General Funk now serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Mounted Warfare Foundation.
In addition, SAR members, dressed as Soldiers in Revolutionary War dress participated in the service as the color guard and firing a musket salute honoring the deceased soldiers. Beginning at 9:40 AM, music was played by The Austin Symphonic MicroBand and also provide music for the service. Gary Knippa leadus in the singing of the “National Anthem” and “America the Beautiful.”
The service honored all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service for our country, and additionally recognized Lt. Rankin and Sgt. Stephen Williams, both of whom fought in the Revolutionary War. They are the only Revolutionary War veterans buried in the Texas State Cemetery. Both of these Revolutionary War veterans were eulogized by descendants of theirs. This year, in recognition of 50 years since the Viet Nam War, the service also recognized and honored the first five troops from Austin who died in Viet Nam. Many of their families were in attendance.
The Capitol Area Regents Council, led by piper Kevin Hendryx, SAR Color Guard, families of the honored troops, and DAR & SAR dignitaries, walked to the Viet Nam monument for a prayer, wreath service and a few words. Henry Schoenfelt lead the SAR musket salute and Dr. Daniel Thrower, Trumpet, from Air Force Band of the West, played “Taps.”