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The Hesston Record
347 B Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831

Excel Memorial Finds Permanent Home At Hesston Public Library

Posted 6/2/2016

By Jackie Nelson

Excel employees, community members and pastors gathered in solemn

On Thursday afternoon, the spontaneous memorial of T-shirts, flowers, candles and mementoes was removed from the corner of Ridge Road and Old Highway 81.

While the memorial has been decommissioned, for X and Y, they will carry memorials for the victims for life. The couple, with matching Excel yellow ribbon tattoos attended the ceremony before clocking in to work second shift at Excel.

Pastors from the Hesston Ministerial Alliance each spoke as items were carefully collected and placed in a large container.

Pastor Gary Blane of Highland Trinity United Church of Christ said while the items placed at the intersection seemed common, and now even tattered, “I’d like for you to consider the possibility that these are sacred objects. And they are sacred objects because they come out of suffering.”

The final items to be removed were the four faded T-shirts for each of the individuals that lost their lives on Feb. 25. 

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Soaring Into Summer Reading

Posted 6/2/2016

Record Staff

The Summer Reading Program kickoff will be taken to new heights at Hesston Public Library Tuesday, June 7.

Susan Erlenwein will be bringing her glider to Hesston Public Library to show youth how gliders operate.

The couple landed on the Hesston Public Library Summer Reading docket after Melissa Webb contacted one of their clubs and asked for a volunteer to to a presentation.

“We often display our aircraft at events and for schools so we volunteered,” said Clayton.

Erlenwein and her husband, Harry Clayton, serve on the Wichita Soaring Association Board; are members of the Kansas Soaring Association, Soaring Society of America; Vintage Soaring Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association.

The couple own and have rebuilt several gliders.

“We have owned the glider being displayed since 1984.  This aircraft was built in Germany in 1971,” said Clayton. 

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Bugle Silenced To Honor Dreier At Hesston Memorial Day Ceremony

Posted 6/2/2016

By Jackie Nelson

This Memorial Day, a lone trumpet played out the solemn notes of Taps. 

For the last 25 years, Vern Dreier and his son, Mike, have played a call and response at Hesston Cemetery’s Memorial Day Ceremony.  In honor of Vern’s passing this year, Mike performed the piece solo, in honor of his father.

“My dad was the band director at Hesston for 19 years. When I started playing, he had been my director through high school,” said Dreier. 

He added his father was a major influence when it came to picking up a trumpet for the first time.

“He was a trumpet player and talked me out of playing the saxiphone, which was smart - and the drums. That was more for his own sanity, I think.  He said, ‘We have a trumpet laying here, so why not play this?’”

Vern was an original member of the Hesston Memorial Day committee and performed Taps at every Memorial Day ceremony beginning in 1991.

“I missed one or two in there, just as life fot in the way. That was something Dad and I always did together. It just became a bit of a family tradition,” he said.

Dreier added in the last decade “it wasn’t a question to come back and do it.”

At the service, a silver trumpet was displayed on the bench near the veterans’ memorial. 

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