Ribbon cutting held for Sikeston Honors Veterans banner project ahead of Veterans Day

As Veterans Day approaches, many communities and organizations are honoring those who have served
Published: Nov. 10, 2023 at 3:57 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2023 at 6:24 PM CST
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SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - As Veterans Day approaches, many communities and organizations are honoring those who have served.

In Sikeston, a new addition will honor those heroes all year long. Community leaders cut the ribbon and celebrated the installation of new light poles and banners at Veterans Park on Friday morning, November 10.

Each one tells the story of a Sikeston veteran.

“It’s great to see, you know, I’ve got a lot of pictures of him in the service and different things but he was quite a man,” said Bill Ferrel.

He’s talking about his father, John Ferrel, one of the veterans honored on the banners here at the park.

He was all smiles when he saw the banner for the first time.

“He went into the service in the United States Army Air Corps, is what it was then. It wasn’t the Air Force. He would have volunteered in 1941 and he got out in 1945,″ he said about his father’s time in the military.

Ferrel said this tribute has extra meaning to him because his dad had special ties to Sikeston and the park.

“He was actually stationed here whenever he was in the Air Force at this particular airport, which was unusual,” he explained. “He took his flight training here at this airport before he was an officer. He ended up being a lieutenant and he flew B-2 jets.”

The Sikeston Honors Veterans banner project is a collaboration between the Sikeston Regional Chamber and the Veterans Park committee.

Sixteen men were selected to be featured on the flags through an application and lottery system.

“It was just a great enhancement to the park. It also makes it more of an attraction for visitors,” said Kathy Medley, vice president of the regional chamber.

Medley wanted the banners to be interactive.

“The application has their military history and it is very interesting,” she said. “Every story is different. Every light post has a QR code and it will take you to our website so as you’re walking and looking at the flags you are also learning about their history.”

And Medley said it’s a rewarding experience to honor these local heroes.

“To hear back from the families they are very honored to be recognized,” she added. “Some of them are no longer living, so it means a lot to them.”