Memorial Day ceremony honors two WWII veterans

Memorial Day ceremony honors two WWII veterans

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The annual Jonesboro Memorial Day Observance Ceremony took place Monday at 9 a.m. in front of the courthouse.

The ceremony honored the men and woman who served in the armed forces now and in the past.

This year, two men who served during World War II were highlighted during the event.

One of those men is Staff Sergeant Wallace Howard Cleveland.

Cleveland's plane was shot down over Italy in 1944.

He then spent the next year and three months in a Nazi POW camp in Germany before he made it back home to Jonesboro.

Candace Martin, Cleveland's daughter attended the event and was shocked by the information about her father.

"I thought it was beautiful," Martin said. "All we ever knew about daddy was that he was shot over Italy and spent a year in a war camp. To find out all this, it's just amazing. My son did all this research and I wish he could have been here too."

The second man highlighted is forever associated with D-Day.

"We found out last year some time that one of the residents of Jonesboro, PFC Gene Sellers of Jonesboro, he is credited with being the first causality in D-Day June 6, 1944," Danny Honnoll said.

Honnoll is the Memorial Day Chairman this year.Billy Cribbs, a member of the Honor Guard and a Vietnam era vet, said the event usually receives a larger turnout.

"I think it's real good what we are doing here because we have a good turnout," Cribbs said. "We normally have a bigger turnout due to the weather but there's so many veterans that come and enjoy this. It's sad today that it's the first time we have not had any World War II veterans here."

Honnoll said he believes the reason there were no World War II veterans at the event was due to their health.

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