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Memorial Day: Monument, street honor 1st Lt. Shane Childers

A Memorial Day ceremony will honor the life and sacrifice of 1st Lt. Shane Childers of Powell, who was the first American serviceman to die in the Iraq war.

The ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m. Monday at the Wyoming Veterans Memorial Park in Cody and will dedicate the nearby “Lt. Childers Street.”

Lt. Childers Street is a stretch of Cody's 26th Street between the Greybull Highway and Mountain View Drive that passes by the Wyoming Veterans Memorial Park. A monument in Childers’ honor that faces Lt. Childers Street also will be unveiled.

The 30-year-old Childers was killed while leading his men in an assault on a pumping station in southern Iraq on March 21, 2003. A 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Marine Corp. at the time of his death, Childers was posthumously promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

“This is to honor him and recognize his sacrifice,” said Buck Wilkerson, a U.S. Korean War veteran.

Childers’ parents, Joseph and Judy Childers of Powell, will unveil the stone monument in Shane’s honor, and Joseph Childers will speak.

Other speakers include Major General Steven Hummer, U.S. Marine Corps; Sen. John Barrasso; State Auditor Cynthia Cloud and Powell Mayor Scott Mangold.

Seating will be available for 250 people, but organizers are expecting upwards of 500, so folks are encouraged to bring their own chairs, said Wilkerson.

Following Monday’s ceremony, a light luncheon will be provided for veterans and guests at the VFW Post, 808 12th St. in Cody.

Memorial Day recognized at Crown Hill Cemetery

Memorial Day services are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday at Crown Hill Cemetery.

The services are conducted by the veterans’ organizations of Powell. Master Sergeant Doug Siggins will speak, the Buffalo Bill Young Marines will present the colors, and the Powell Veterans’ Honor Guard will present the honors. Pastor Mike Walsh will do the invocation and benediction for the ceremony. Tom Bibbey will play “Taps.”

If it’s rainy on Monday, the Memorial Day service will be moved to the National Guard Armory, said Joe Mooney, commanding officer of the Young Marines.

Weather permitting, flags will be raised at 6 a.m. Monday morning and will be taken down at 6 p.m. Monday evening as part of the Avenue of Flags at Crown Hill Cemetery. The American Legion Post 26, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and numerous volunteers will display the Avenue of Flags.

“To my knowledge, there are only a few other Avenue of Flags around America,” said Pat Miller. “Ours is one of only two in the state of Wyoming.”

Gary Lucus, finance officer for the American Legion, said Funke’s Dry Cleaners is instrumental in helping keep the American flags in good shape.

“They’ve been a godsend,” Lucus said. “Funke’s has been cleaning flags for the American Legion and other service groups forever. They also repair all of our American flags that are displayed every Memorial Day at the Avenue of Flags.”

Last December, the Legion presented Funke’s Dry Cleaners with a letter of appreciation “for their efforts in maintaining ‘America’s Colors’ through the years,” Lucus said.

Also during the Memorial Day ceremony, the American Legion Auxiliary will place wreaths at the cemetery. Wreaths have been purchased for $5 from various organizations, clubs and individuals in the community.

Editor's note: This version of the story clarifies the location of the ceremony honoring Lt. Childers.


  • posted by CJ Baker - Tribune staff

    May 27, 2011 12:54 pm

    Hi John,

    I just updated the story to clarify where the events are. The Memorial Day ceremony honoring Lt. Childers is being held at 11:30 a.m. at the Wyoming Veterans Memorial Park in Cody. Separate Memorial Day services are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday at Crown Hill Cemetery east of Powell, off Lane 9.

    Hope that helps!

  • posted by John

    May 27, 2011 11:36 am

    Ok, maybe it's because I'm originally from the Ozarks, but it's hard reading this story to tell when and where to be for this. I would hope a story like this would state date, time and location for any ceremony like this. Reading it, it's hard to tell if it's in Cody or Powell.

  • posted by Rainbow Munoz

    May 26, 2011 10:57 am

    god rest his soul and bless his Parents i myself Am a proud military mother: )

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