By Larissa Cheney
Volunteers filled the Hillcrest Cemetery again this year to decorate the graves of veterans in honor of Memorial Day this Friday afternoon. 4-H, Cub and Boy Scouts, and Elks members placed at least 300 flags around the cemetery to remember the sacrifice of veterans dating back to the Civil War.
Elks members also raised the large flags at the front of the cemetery, which will remain in place for the duration of the holiday weekend, in place of taking them down every night and raising them again every morning. They “simply no longer have the volunteers,” Ken Edwards stated, though they would be very happy to raise enough money to light the flags at night in order to properly honor them.
The Elks have been sponsoring this tradition for the last five years and are happy to continue it in order to “take a day to remember those that have sacrificed a great deal”, according to Edwards. He pointed out the common confusion between Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day, explaining that Memorial Day is about “honor, respect, and reverence” in remembering our fallen heroes.
This remembrance means a lot to families like the Fosters, who have been placing flags at the cemetery for five years and always place one at their Grandpa’s grave first even “if we have to tackle people”. The late Mr. Foster is visited every year by his close family, including grand and great grandchildren, and though the family couldn’t bring the emotions to words, it was clear how significant this small act of remembrance can be.
Families like the Goffs have also made this a tradition. Lucas Goff, a scout with troop 350, has been part of this service for four years, and he comes to the cemetery with John Goff, who summed it up simply; “Finally I can say thanks.”
The Elks will be providing a breakfast at the Elk’s Lodge on Monday. Food for veterans will be free, and all others are encouraged to provide a reasonable donation.