BALLINGER - Runnels County citizens turned out to honor the fallen during the annual Memorial Day Ceremony held Monday, May 28 on the courthouse lawn.

BALLINGER - Runnels County citizens turned out to honor the fallen during the annual Memorial Day Ceremony held Monday, May 28 on the courthouse lawn.

Veteran Alex Kvapil welcomed all of the attendees and John Multer and R. J. Laird presented the flags, with Runnels County Veteran Service Officer Sandra Van Zant leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Father Robert Baden offered the prayer and Lanada Driskell led the the National Anthem.

Ellen McKinnon was the keynote speaker during the event. McKinnon served nine years in the U.S. Air Force from 1990-99 and earned the rank of captain. McKinnon would become the first woman to fly the A-10 Thunderbolt II and served combat tours in South Korea, and Kuwait and served in the 1996 Operation Joint Endeavor Bosnia and Herzegovina. While in the Air Force, McKinnon served three years as a First Assignment Instructor Pilot with T-38’s.

McKinnon is the daughter of Jay and Edith Hardy of Midland the wife of Dr. Mark McKinnon and mother of three children, David, Clarice and Monte. She is a graduate of Midland High School and the University of Texas.

Driskell led the group in God Bless America following McKinnon’s speech and Father Hubert Wade offered the closing prayer.