Memorial Day plans set for Monday

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Memorial Day weekend is a busy time for members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265.

VFW members will participate in the Moffat County High School graduation and the Grand Olde West Days parade, place flags on the graves of veterans and sell beer during Grand Olde West Days events.

"It's a bit of a rat race," Post 4265 Commander Ray Talkington said.

The weekend culminates with the VFW and American Legion Memorial Day ceremonies Mon--day at the Craig Cemetery and later at the Maybell Cemetery.

Monday's ceremony kicks off at 11 a.m.

Talkington, who served in the U.S. Army in Europe in the late 1950s and early 1960s, said the memorial ceremony is "a way of honoring the people who died to keep us free."

Vic Beckett of the American Legion will read the names of all the veterans buried at the cemetery during the ceremony.

Beckett, who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, has been reading the names on Memorial Day for more than 50 years.

When he started, there were 65 veterans buried at the cemetery, now there are close to 500.

Beckett said that although the VFW and American Legion honor veterans on Memorial Day, they aren't the only people celebrating the holiday.

"Veterans organizations recognize the veterans that served our country, but other people come out to recognize their family," he said.

After the reading of the names, the VFW will provide a full military funeral for a Spanish-American War veteran buried at the Craig cemetery.

William F. Banister died in 1921 at the age of 48 in Moffat County. He was buried in an unmarked grave in the Craig Cemetery, but did not receive a military funeral.

Museum of Northwest Colo--rado director Dan Davidson, who helped identify Banister, said his gravestone will be placed in the area of the cemetery he is buried in, but because there are no records of Banister's exact burial plot, the stone will not be directly above his grave.

At 3 p.m. Monday, the VFW and American Legion will host another ceremony at the Maybell Cemetery.

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