Archive for Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bonner, Edwardsville preparations begin for Memorial Day

May 22, 2008

Memorial Day is on its way, which means community cemeteries are gearing up for the celebrations to honor fallen soldiers.

At the Bonner Springs Cemetery, at Metropolitan and Sheidley streets, the grounds are being cleaned and groomed for its service starting at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 26.

Rita Hoag, Bonner Springs city clerk, said the ceremony is in "honor and memory of all veterans."

At 10 a.m. the city will conduct a ribbon-cutting for the new cemetery entrance. After that, attendees will move over to the Soldiers Circle for the official Memorial Day recognition.

Council member Larry Berg and his son Brian Berg will play "Taps." Jim Jenkins will then sing a patriotic song, and the Olsen-McGraw-Thompson-Goins Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6401 will act as the color guard and conduct a flag ceremony.

Prior to the event, the Public Works Department is working on setting up the "Avenue of Flags," which will consist of a row of American flags lining the entrance driveway and Soldiers Circle. The VFW will also be placing smaller flags on the gravesites of veterans.

Hoag said in years past about 80 people attended the service, but she is hoping for a larger turnout this year. But before she can worry about that, she said her focus is on making sure everything is done in time.

"Public works is making sure that we get all the mowing done so the cemetery is very nicely manicured and the landscaping beds are cleaned up," she said. "We're working frantically to make sure new front entry is done in time too."

Over at the Edwardsville City Cemetery, 1501 S. 104th St., crews are also working hard to make sure the cemetery grounds are in top shape for the 2 p.m. ceremony on Sunday, May 25.

John Kindred, president of the Edwardsville cemetery board committee, said that work was taking place just like every other year. The mess that winter left, such as leaves, aged signs, building paint and ruined grave decorations are all on the list of items to fix before Sunday's service at the Edwardsville Cemetery.

Flags will also be erected along the circle drive in the center of the cemetery and across the back. Kindred estimated about 100 flags would be put up but said that number changes often. Residents can purchase the flags and a nameplate will be put below it to show who donated the money to provide the symbol that honors local soldiers.

Just like at the Bonner Springs cemetery, members of the VFW will be placing flags on graves and monuments of those who are past veterans. Also included in the service will be the color guard, "Taps," other special music and a speech by a minister.

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