For area veterans, both Monday and Tuesday next week will be cause for both reflection, and a local measure of celebration, including an appearance by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

For area veterans, both Monday and Tuesday next week will be cause for both reflection, and a local measure of celebration, including an appearance by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.
Monday, May 29, of course, is Memorial Day, honoring the nation’s fallen service men from all branches of the military, and in Hope, the day will be commemorated with a 9:30 a.m. ceremony in front of the Hempstead County Courthouse.
County Judge Haskell Morse will serve as master of ceremonies, and County Veterans Affairs officer Leon Prince said he hopes to see 100 or more people at the courthouse.
“We shouldn’t forget what this day is about; it’s not just going to the lake for a three-day weekend. Here in Hempstead County, the celebration has gotten more attention each year. Last year, we had about 75 or so.  I would like to see 100 or more this year,” Prince said.
Members of the US Marine Corp reserve will perform the traditional “Taps, while Gwen Muldrew will perform the National Anthem.
Arkansas State Representative Danny Watson, who serves both Hempstead and Nevada counties, will be the keynote speaker. Watson also currently serves on the State House Committee on Aging, Children and Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs, and was instrumental in advocating an number of Veterans-related legislation in the past session.
The Hope High School ROTC will perform the traditional placing of the wreath.
Then, the following day, Tuesday, May 30 at 1 p.m. sees the opening of the brand new Regional District Veteran’s Affairs office in Hope.
During Thursday night’s Quorum Court meeting, Morse reminded the gallery that Hutchinson is scheduled to attend a special ribbon-cutting for the new District 8 Veterans Service office, and several local and state VA officials are also expected to attend.
Prince will be elevated as the new District 8 Veterans Affairs officer, now serving an eight-county district, and he will move out of his current offices at the Hempstead County Courthouse.
The new District 8 office will be located near the Workforce Center on Smith Road, which is off N. Hazel Street, and near familiar landmarks like the State Police Headquarters, the first I-30 exit, and Arkansas Highway Dept. building.