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      Ottumwa honors veterans past and present

      Flags at Ottumwa Cemetery honor veterans on Memorial Day.

      Ceremonies across the country honored veterans for the Memorial Day Holiday and in Ottumwa, services were held at Ottumwa Cemetery Monday afternoon.

      The ceremony featured the VFW, the folding of the flag by the National Guard and a wreath ceremony by the Southern Iowa Vietnam Veterans Post 667.

      The crowd that gathered took time out of their holiday weekend to show they appreciate veterans for all that they do.

      "To me, this country has given me a good life a good family," said Phil Mathias, Ottumwa resident. "And it's also given me an opportunity to raise my children in a place where we had a roof over our heads and good food to eat and just a lot of friends and family. So Memorial Day is a very special day in my heart and my family and will continue to be so until the day that I die."

      Chaplain Eric Reyman gave the eulogy and highlighted notable stories of sacrifice and courage by our veterans past and present. He and his wife both serve and he said he and his children place flags on the graves of veterans each Memorial Day, in order to keep in mind what this holiday is really about.Other stories of interest...Former Prisoner of War speaks in Richland - Monday, May 28, 2012 Former Prisoner of War speaks in Richland, IowaVeterans remembering the real meaning of Memorial Day - Monday, May 28, 2012 Veterans remembering the real meaning of Memorial Day at a Memorial Day Ceremony at Rieger Armony in Kirksville.