U.S. Congressman Doc Hastings has agreed to be the guest speaker at this year's Memorial Day service at Sunnyside's Lower Valley Memorial Gardens.
The Monday, May 31, tribute to military veterans who lost their lives defending the freedoms of Americans will begin at 11 a.m. at the War Veterans Memorial at the Sunnyside cemetery, located on Van Belle Road.
All Lower Valley residents, according to the Sunnyside VFW, are being encouraged to turn out for next Monday's ceremony. Besides having Hastings (R-Pasco) on hand to serve as guest speaker, the VFW will conduct a wreath laying ceremony, and the Lower Valley VFW color guard will perform a gun salute that will conclude with the playing of Taps.
Preceding the 11 a.m. ceremony at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens will be a special Memorial Day service at the Outlook cemetery. That tribute to veterans, also open to the public, will start at 9:30 a.m.
Preparations for the two Memorial Day tributes actually will get underway this coming Saturday. Members of the local VFW, Am-Vets and American Legion will gather at 6 a.m. Saturday morning to begin the job of placing more than 1,300 flags on the graves of local military veterans.
Lower Valley residents who want to assist with placing the flags on the graves are welcome to join the group.
"Everyone meets at the Sunnyside cemetery on Van Belle Road at 6 a.m.," said Am-Vets spokesman George Schanz. "This is a great way to teach your children patriotism and the meaning of Memorial Day
"After the flags have been placed, the VFW Ladies Auxiliary will provide breakfast for everyone at the VFW hall, located at 615 North Avenue," Schanz continued.
Schanz added that any local resident who knows of a veteran's grave that isn't adorned with a flag each Memorial Day at either the Sunnyside or Outlook cemeteries should contact him at 840-9213 to remedy the situation.
Following the Monday, May 31, Memorial Day service a luncheon will be served at the Sunnyside VFW hall. It will be at that time when the drawing will be held for the flat screen television that the VFW is currently raffling off.