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Livingston will speak on Monday

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

(Photo)
Major Gen. James S. Livingston
SIKESTON - Monday, the Sikeston community will observe Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to the United States.

In a service beginning at 10:30 a.m. at Sikeston Veterans Park, Major Gen. James S. Livingston, a retired member of the U.S. Marine Corps and a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, will be the guest speaker.

Former president Nixon honored Livingston in 1970 "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty" during the Vietnam War.

According to the citation, Livingston maneuvered men despite nearby hostile rounds, leading them in "a savage assault against enemy emplacements within the village." He refused medical treatment after being wounded twice by grenade fragments. He was later wounded a third time, and only allowed himself to be evacuated once he was assured of the safety of his men.

Livingston also received the Purple Heart, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Distinguished Service Medal, among other awards and decorations. He is qualified as a master parachutist.

Serving two combat tours in the Republic of Vietnam, then assisting in the evacuation of Saigon in 1975, Livingston spent 33 years in the Corps, retiring as a major -- two star -- general.

He married Sara Craft and they have two daughters: Kimberly, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and the Medical University of South Carolina; and Melissa, a graduate of Tulane University.

The ceremony will also include Missouri Sen. Jason Crowell, who is scheduled to give a presentation. It will involve the Sikeston VFW Post, Tanner Street Church of God, First Baptist Church of Charleston, American Legion Post, United States Marine Corps and Sikeston National Guard Unit. Taps will be performed by Greg Bain, a student at Sikeston Senior High.

In case of rain, the service will be at First Christian Church, 1006 N. Main.

Following the service, the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary will host a luncheon for the veterans and their families at the post on South Kingshighway.