As Memorial Day approaches, the Civil Air Patrol cadets of the Boone Composite Squadron are preparing for their annual 24-hour Honor Guard to show respect to the many Boone County citizens who gave their lives in defense of our country’s freedoms. As they have done more than a decade, the CAP cadets will begin the Honor Guard at midnight on Sunday, May 27 and spend 24 hours marching an Honor Guard at the World War I Memorial Statue on the courthouse lawn in Madison. A new Guard will be posted every thirty minutes, following the pattern of the Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
This traditional tribute to Boone County’s fallen heroes was begun in by CAP Cadet Lt Col Jason Garretson over then years ago. As a cadet leader in the squadron, Garretson secured the permission of the County Commission to march the Honor Guard and was also given permission for the cadets to remain overnight in the courthouse facilities. That tradition remains to this date, with CAP Senior Members staying with the cadets and family and friends supplying food to keep them going for the non-stop vigil.
Another tradition has been added in recent years as members of VFW Post 5578 have joined the CAP cadets for the Noon ceremony, during which the names of all Boone County citizens who died in the service of our nation are read from the Courthouse steps. VFW members and the CAP cadets jointly place a wreath in front of the WW I statue and a VFW member plays TAPS to conclude the ceremony.
The public is invited to come to the Courthouse anytime during the 24-hour Honor Guard and especially for the Noon ceremony - a very touching tribute to those men and women who gave their all to protect our nation and the freedom we readily enjoy. Special recognition will be given to relatives of those whose names are on the crosses that have been placed on the lawn by the VFW.