Local veterans’ groups are working to ensure Memorial Day is about more than barbecues and a long weekend.


Local veterans’ groups are working to ensure Memorial Day is about more than barbecues and a long weekend.
Volunteers from Newton chapters of the American Legion and VFW will gather Monday morning to place wreaths at the Veteran’s monument at Greenwood Cemetery, 1100 E. First St.
That event will include remarks from Specialist Joshua T. Clark, U.S. Army, who will speak about his experience in the military and a recent tour in Iraq.
The event begins at 9:30 a.m. Monday and is open to the public to attend.
Later that afternoon, the Legion will host a flag retirement ceremony, also open to the public, at 3 p.m. at the Legion Post. They will destroy unusable, weathered, tattered and tarnished flags, and ceremonially bury the brass salvaged after the flag is burned.
“It symbolizes the soldiers that have fallen,” said Ed Runyon, who is organizing the day’s events for the Legion.
Monday morning, they also will fly flags at the cemetery, which he said volunteers will set up for on Friday.
The American Legion also will make available grave markers, which family members can put on the graves of veterans to denote their service.
On Saturday morning, local Boy Scouts from Troup 123 in Newton will adorn the graves of veterans with American flags at Greenwood Cemetery.
Scout master Doug Trumble said the Boy Scouts have been placing the flags for Memorial Day “for as long as I can remember.” His son participated for the past nine or 10 years, he added.
“Every year, it seems like they learn more about history,” he said, of the Scouts. “They also learn about respect.”
The graves remain decorated throughout the weekend.
Veterans also will be recognized at a breakfast sponsored by Hospice Care of Kansas from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Friday at the Downtown Senior Center in Wichita. The menu has yet to be determined, but all veterans and their families are welcome to attend.
“It’s a way to give back to veterans and thank them for their service,” said Mark Davis, a consultant with Hospice Care of Kansas.
He said Hospice is expecting 60 to 80 veterans and family members at the breakfast and are looking into other areas to host similar events in the future.