SIKESTON - Before the ceremony scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Monday at the Field House begins, Sikeston's observance of Veterans Day this year will begin outside the Field House with the raising of a very special flag at 9:30 a.m.
"The one and only time it has been flown previously was over the air base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Sept. 11," said Trey Hardy of Sikeston.
A decorated combat veteran of Vietnam and recipient of the Silver Star, Hardy's father, Lt. Col. Ted Hardy, United States Army (Ret.), will be the honored guest and speaker during the ceremony that follows.
Also invited to speak during the ceremony was Trey Hardy's brother, Lt. Col. Chuck Hardy, an airborne artillery battalion commander for the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne.
"These guys, when they jump out of a plane they're dropping 105mm howitzers with them," said Trey. "They uncrate them, assemble them, and start rocking and rolling. They have that thing firing sometimes within 20 minutes."
About three months ago, however, Trey got an email from his brother that advised he would be going overseas and, while unable to attend, he and his fellow paratroopers were "proud to be doing our nation's business," said Trey. "He felt bad he wasn't going to be able to join us and our father for the ceremony."
It was at that time Chuck suggested Trey send a flag for him to fly over the air base.
"So I boxed it up and sent it to him along with his favorite cookies and supplies from home," said Trey. "They had a flag ceremony and sent it back to me."
Along with the flag a certificate of authenticity was included.
Following the ceremony, the Hardys will present the flag to the city. "I don't know if it will be anything formal," said Trey.
Also participating in the service will be local veterans from the VFW and American Legion along with the local National Guard unit. Music will be provided by the Sikeston High School band, choir and orchestra.
Offering the prayer of remembrance will be Lt. Commander Gerald Beam, United States Naval Reserve (Ret).