Memorial Day events planned
In 1868, the first establishment of Decoration Day was approved to honor people who died in defense of their country. In 1971, Congress changed Decoration Day to Memorial Day and declared it would be the last Monday of May. In 2014, veterans groups and citizens in Washington will continue the tradition of honoring the fallen.
American Legion Post 29 commander Wayne Brock said today that all are welcome at the Memorial Day events. He also said that there will be plenty of activity going on during the days leading up to Monday. Again this year, he said, veterans will be selling poppies outside area businesses.
“They are to honor the soldiers who have given their lives in defense of the country,” Brock said. “The sale will benefit veterans causes.”
Residents of the veterans home in Marshalltown make the poppies.
On Friday, he said, members of the American Legion will give a presentation at Halcyon House at 9:30 a.m. and at the U.P. Home at 2:15 p.m. He also said that members would give presentations at the schools.
To set up for Monday’s events, volunteers will place flags on the graves of veterans beginning at 4 p.m. Friday.
The Salute to Memorial Day kicks off Monday at 8 a.m. with a flag raising at the Washington Post Office in the 100 block of North Marion Avenue in Washington. Members of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 242 and American Legion Post No. 29 will conduct the service. The flag will be raised to half-mast.
At 8:30 a.m. the service will continue at the Crooked Creek Bridge on Old Highway 92. A tribute will be held for Navy and Marine soldiers who died in the line of duty. Navy veteran Dale Torpey will give the keynote address during the service. There will also be a firing squad and Taps will be played. Families are welcome to drop flowers into the creek to honor the fallen.
The Memorial service begins at 10 a.m. in Elm Grove Cemetery. Cheyenne (Cuddeback) Miller, author of the book “We Lucky Few” which tells the story of many Washington County veterans, will be the speaker.