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The following Memorial Day activities are scheduled for Moffat County:
4 p.m. — Veterans can ride on the VFW/American Legion honor guard float in the Grand Olde West Days Parade.
5 p.m. — American Legion members place flags on the graves on veterans at Craig Cemetery.
10 a.m. — VFW and American Legion members post colors at Alice Pleasant Park in downtown Craig.
11 a.m. — VFW and American Legion members host a Memorial Day ceremony at Craig Cemetery.
2 p.m. — VFW and American Legion members host a Memorial Day ceremony at Maybell Cemetery.
For American Legion Post 62 Commander Jake Garcia, the idea behind Memorial Day is simple.
“It’s to respect and honor the fallen members of the military,” Garcia said.
Craig and Moffat County residents will have several chances to pay those respects this holiday weekend. The first opportunity will come today during the Grand Olde West Days parade.
Setup for the parade starts at 3 p.m. in the parking lot of Craig Middle School before officially beginning at 4 p.m. The route runs down Yampa Avenue, turns right onto Victory Way and right on Ledford Street before ending at Sandrock Ridge Care & Rehab.
According to Garcia and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 Commander-elect Guy Bradshaw, members of both organizations — along with any other veterans attending the parade — will have the opportunity to ride on the honor guard float during the parade, something Garcia said allows older veterans the opportunity to participate in the parade.
“Some of the veterans, it hurts them to walk that far, which comes with being older,” he said.
At 5 p.m. Sunday, American Legion members will place American flags at the graves of veterans at Craig Cemetery in preparation for Monday’s activities, which kick off at 10 a.m. when VFW and American Legion members post colors at Alice Pleasant Park in downtown Craig.
The two organizations also will conduct two Memorial Day services later that day, at 11 a.m. at Craig Cemetery and 2 p.m. at Maybell Cemetery. The ceremonies will include a 21-gun salute and a reading of the names of fallen veterans buried in each cemetery.
“I think there’s 715 (veterans) at the Craig Cemetery, and I think we got eight or nine at Maybell Cemetery,” Garcia said.
Bradshaw said the services offer a great way for area residents to honor those who died defending America.
“It just gives you a chance to pay homage to our gone comrades and service members, and remember the dead,” he said, adding that the holiday has evolved to include remembering deceased family members as well.
“Memorial Day obviously was started for veterans, but it’s kind of grown into something a little bit more than that,” he said. “You get to pay your respects to lost loved ones.
“Especially veterans,” Garcia added.
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