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Local veterans prepare for Memorial Day services

On the morning of May 29, the members of Sunnyside veterans groups will head to local cemeteries to place American flags at the grave of each Sunnyside veteran who has served in the United States military.

The fluttering of flags will decorate cemeteries in Outlook and Sunnyside, in preparation for Memorial Day weekend, according to Greg Schlieve of Sunnyview VFW Post #3482.

He said more than 1,200 flags will be placed on soldiers' graves in honor to their sacrifice to their nation.

"We will be at the cemetery at 6 a.m. to begin placing the flags and we can always use help with this sacred task," he said.

Groups or individuals who wish to aid in this event are encouraged to meet at the cemeteries on Van Belle Road near Lower Valley Memorial Gardens.

"We appreciate any help that local citizens want to offer in support of the veterans of our community," said Schlieve, who heads up the flag posting.

Schlieve asked that families who know of a veteran's grave at either of the local cemeteries that does not get an American flag to contact him at 882-4498. "Families may also contact the cemetery office to remedy that situation," he said.

Schlieve encourages families to come help set out the flags.

"We feel that this is a great opportunity for the community to teach patriotism and community service to our youths," he said.

"We usually have the flags all set out by 7 a.m.," he said.

Following the decorating of the grave sites, a breakfast will follow at Sunnyview VFW Post #3482, 615 North Ave., Sunnyside, hosted by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary.

On Monday, May 31, at 10 a.m., the first of two Memorial Day services will be held at the Outlook Cemetery. The second ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens at the War Veterans Memorial at 11 a.m., Schlieve said.

Sunnyview VFW Post #3482, along with American Legion Post #73 and members of the Sunnyside AMVETs Post will present the memorial program. Rep. Bruce Chandler of Granger will be the guest speaker at both services.

The memorial services will include the reading of the names of those veterans who have died during the past 12 months, as well as a wreath laying ceremony, followed by a 21-gun salute by the VFW Color Guard in memory of the departed veterans. The services will conclude with Taps.

Schlieve reminds Sunnysiders to fly their flag during Memorial Day weekend.

"For those who do fly their flag, the flag is to be flown at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day, then raised to full-staff," he said.

For more information about the Memorial Day services, call Bill Ingram, VFW post commander, at 837-3482.

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