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Archive for Monday, May 22, 2006

Veterans’ groups prepare for Memorial Day events

May 22, 2006

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The Stars and Stripes will fly again in full force at area cemeteries on Memorial Day.

Veterans groups are planning their annual programs to honor the memories of veterans at their graves.

Lawrence resident Sam Brubaker, a U.S. Army World War II veteran, said it was important to pay homage to those who served in the military - particularly when the country is at war.

"I think it's an honor to be a veteran in the first place and an honor to be a veteran of foreign war," said Brubaker, a member of the Alford-Clarke Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 852. "We honor not only the veterans that have passed away, but we also honor the veterans that are living and serving in Iraq like that."

On Memorial Day - May 29 - the VFW post will start its traditional ceremony at 11 a.m. in the veterans plot at Memorial Park Cemetery, 1517 E. 15th St.

On Sunday, several crews of post members will place American flags on the graves of all known veterans in the cemetery. On Memorial Day morning, crews will line the cemetery's roads with larger American flags that will fly throughout the holiday.

Just across the street at Oak Hill Cemetery, members of Dorsey-Liberty Post No. 14 of the American Legion will practice a similar ceremony at 10 a.m. in the veterans plot there.

That morning 10 to 12 crews will put up former casket flags of veterans on poles that will line the cemetery's road during the holiday, said Leo Langlois, a former post commander.

"That's what the day is for us: honoring the veterans and all of those who served in the wars that the U.S. is in," he said.

The holiday is traditionally a busy day at area cemeteries as family members visit the graves of their loved ones. Area lakes and campsites also see hustle and bustle during the weekend as the holiday generally marks the unofficial beginning of summer.

David Rhoades, a park manager at Clinton Lake, has said staff members expect a typically busy holiday weekend, including at Bloomington East Beach, where alcohol is now prohibited.

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