Memorial Day Observations

Memorial Day Observations

May 22, 2017

Many of Western Fraternal Life's members get involved in Memorial Day activities. They go above and beyond to recognize deceased servicemen and women by helping at cemeteries and participating in recognition events.

Below are examples of lodges that engage in this way. You may reach out to these lodges for more information about the events they have planned for Memorial Day weekend if you are interested in participating.

Timken, KS

Members, Boy Scouts, veterans, and others gather for Memorial Day.

Hvezdnaty Prapor No. 95, Timken, KS has been involved with its community's Memorial Day activities for several years. Initially starting out small, the community had a very positive response and it has changed over the years. Secretary Jonea Hartshorn stated, "we make changes every year to make it better." In recent years, they even added a tuba player to play Taps reminiscent of the old Czech polka bands.

Every year, the lodge organizes the Memorial Day program and works with the Timken Bohemian National Cemetery board, a local minister, the American Legion Post, and other members and non-members in the community to make the event successful. No. 95 also completely funds the event, from the wreaths to additional services provided.
Members help clean-up the cemetery to make it nice for Memorial Day services. They help spread the word for the program via the local paper, TV, churches, and social media. On the day of the event, they assist with the recognition, setting up chairs, or providing water to attendees.

The program itself includes a flag ceremony, recognition of living servicemen and women, prayer, wreath-laying, tribute, speeches, roll-call of interred military, Taps, and a moment of silence.

Du Bois, NE

Flags are placed around Du Bois, including the cemetery.

Jan Kollar No. 101, Du Bois, NE members are involved in Memorial Day activities. They help put up flags and lay wreaths at four local cemeteries in Du Bois, Humboldt, Table Rock, and Pawnee.

They help maintain the cemeteries as well. Members painted the entryway on the Bohemian cemetery and re-decorated the graves with wreaths and veteran medals.
Their community has a program held each year on Memorial Day weekend at the Czech National Cemetery located southwest of Humboldt. There is a speaker, Czech music, and flowers placed at the grave of an unknown soldier.

There is also a program held at the Pawnee City Cemetery which members are involved in. The American Legion Post #168, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #5289, and Am-Vets Post #3 of Pawnee County hold a traditional ceremony with the Advancement of Colors, Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance, patriotic music, a special presentation, and program.

Verdigre, NE

Sladkovsky No. 8, Verdigre, NE members prepare for Memorial Day by helping clean-up the Pischelville Cemetery. On Memorial Day weekend, they help with the program as well.

Members display the flag at the ceremony. It is followed by a community program held by members and the Verdel American Legion #8 to honor those laid to rest.

Glasco, KS

Kansasky Vysehrad No. 203, Glasco, KS hosts several Memorial Day weekend events for the community.

On May 28, they will host an open house for the public at the Bohemian Hall from 2 to 4 p.m. with coffee, tea, cookies, and cake. A memorial candle will be lit at the start of the event in honor of those who passed. People gather and talk about their memories of the past.

The open house began as a public service because the area cemeteries are a long way from town, and the Hall could be opened for convenience. It is located in a rural area, and serves area communities that remain as the towns have changed. Over time, it grew and the lodge provided a main dish to share while others brought additional covered dishes.

At 6 p.m., a community picnic will be held. Members bring covered dishes and table service while the lodge provides hot dogs, hamburgers, and refreshments.
After the picnic, they will hold a cake walk and play Bingo.

On May 29, members and the community at large gather at the Bohemian National Cemetery and place flowers on the graves that have not been decorated.

Lincoln, NE

No. 426 YELL! member places flags at the cemetery.

Lincoln No. 426, Lincoln, NE helps build awareness for a younger generation about the importance of Memorial Day.

Members, including its YELL! group, join with other organizations on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend to place flags on the veteran's graves at Calvary Cemetery, totalling over 900 individual graves.

They follow this activity with a prayer and reflection.

Category: Fraternal

Cindy Motsinger

Communications Coordinator

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Call 877-935-2467 to speak with a Western Fraternal Life Representative.