Harvey County Communities will have numerous services over the memorial day weekend to observe the holiday.
The U.S. observes memorial day each year as a way of honoring those who have died while serving in U.S. military branches.
Many communities claim to be the birthplace of the event.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the origin of the observance came shortly after the civil war when. Maj. General John A. Logan ordered posts of the Grand Army of The Republic to set aside a decoration day on May 30 to place “the choicest flowers of springtime” on the graves of the war dead.
The date was selected to pick a time of year when flowers would be in full bloom.
Communities across the country began celebrating the decoration day for civil war soldiers and following World War I decoration day was expanded to include soldiers from all U.S. wars who died in the line of duty.
In 1971 Congress made the event a national holiday officially calling it Memorial day and setting it on the last Monday in May.
Here’s a breakdown of observances going around in the area.
The Newton American Legion will put on a Memorial Day Ceremony at Greenwood Cemetery 9:30 a.m. May 30.
The event will feature a speaker to be announced as well as a ceremony honoring the holiday.
Each year volunteers work to put up flags around the cemetery and on veterans’ graves.
As part of the observance, flags will be placed throughout the cemetery.
“We need a lot of volunteers for each of these events,”said Paul Sanford of Newton’s Wayne G. Austin American Legion Post.
If interested in volunteering, at 6 p.m. Friday May 27, flags will be put onto poles at the cemetery. On Saturday, May 28 local Boy Scouts will put flags on all veterans’ graves at 8 a.m.
Flags will be taken down at 5 p.m. May 30. Those who take flags down will be served a meal.
The Hesston Veteran Memorial Committee will hold a memorial service at the Hesston Cemetery at 11 a.m. May 30.
Poles and small plays will be put up for the event May 27, and then large flags hoisted at 8 a.m. May 30.
The ceremony will be lead Neil McChesney, a veteran of the Vietnam War and a member of the Hesston Veteran’s Memorial Committee.
Color guards for the ceremony will be from Wichita High School East JROTC.
The flag will be posted by Ken Schwanke with the assistance of the Hesston Boy Scouts.
The Memorial Address will be given by the Hesston Girl Scouts which are led by Marcalyn Yutzy. They will present the book, “American’s White Table” written by Margot Theis Raven.
Richard Fulk will read the names of each veteran who have fallen this past year as a floral tribute is being laid at the base of the memorial statue by the local Boy Scout, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts.
The invocation and benediction will be led by Rev. Scott Mill of Kingdom Life Church.
Delvin Wohlgemuth will lead those in attendance the singing of “God Bless America” followed by Lyle Graversen playing “taps” which will conclude the service.
Organizers ask people to bring lawn chairs because seating is limited. In case of inclement weather, the service will be held at the Hesston City Shop.
The Hesston Veteran Memorial Committee welcomes anyone who would like to be a member and/or help do this ceremony each year.
If you have any questions, please call Jeannine Hoheisel 620-217-9978.
The American Legion in Halstead is organizing three ceremonies for Memorial Day. First will be a service at Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Bentley at 9 a.m., followed by one at Pine Park in Halstead at 9:30 and then a service at Halstead Cemetery at 10 a.m.
Legion Commander Larry Denno noted the services would be weather permitting.
“We haven’t had much luck the last couple years,” he said.
Denno also invited the public to help raise and lower flags at Halstead Cemetery at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Memorial Day.
In Sedgwick, the American Legion will hold a Memorial Day program at 10:30 a.m. at Hillside Cemetery. This will including singing of the National Anthem by Earl McGinn, decoration of the monument, a firing salute and a reading of flag names.
Jim Loyd will lead a cemetery tour of past mayors immediately after the program. The Sedgwick Historical Society will host an open house from noon to 3 p.m.
Plymouth Congregational Church will serve lunch starting at 11:30 a.m. in the church basement. Menu will be pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, assorted salads and desserts. Dine-in or carry-out is available.
In Burrton, a Memorial Day service is set for 10:30 a.m. at Burrton Cemetery. Ryan Wray, pastor of First Christian Church, will be the speaker. Afterwards, First Christian Church will serve a lunch of sloppy joes, ham and beans, cornbread and desserts from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is by donation.