May 2022

T E X A R K A N A M A G A Z I N E T he land of the free and the home of the brave—this final phrase from our national anthem so beautifully depicts why the United States is the greatest nation on Earth. America is the land of the free quite simply because it is the home of the brave. For centuries, courageous men and women have set aside—sacrificed—their own wants, needs, and desires and answered a call to defend the life and liberty of all Americans. Many made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives in defense of the freedoms that we so casually enjoy. This month, as we have for decades, Americans will pause to commemorate these brave service members and honor that sacrifice. More than picnics and backyard grilling, more than camping and water sports, Memorial Day is a day to acknowledge that our freedom was bought with a price and remember the ones who paid it. Originally known as Decoration Day, the first national day of remembrance for military members who died in service was held in 1868 following the Civil War. It was celebrated each year on May 30 for more than a century. In 1971, following an act passed by Congress, Memorial Day became a federal holiday recognized on the last Monday of May. This year, on May 30, cities and towns, businesses and organizations, families and individuals will break from their normal routine to celebrate Memorial Day. Customs and traditions vary from place to place, including parades, special services, flags on veterans’ graves and speeches at war memorials. These events are done to remember the lives that were sacrificially given in what President Lincoln termed “the last full measure of devotion.” One local business has made it a personal mission to honor the sacrifice of all veterans. Texarkana Funeral Home has been hosting a Memorial Day Service at Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery for thirty years. Under the leadership of the late Tommy Fuqua, Texarkana Funeral Home established the annual Memorial Day service in 1992. Dale Buster, former Manager of Texarkana Funeral Home and self-proclaimed “military brat,” organized the very first Memorial Day service and continued until his retirement in 2017. He secured then local pastor and now former Arkansas Governor, Mike


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