More than 70 volunteers lay flags near veterans’ gravestones in Craig |

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More than 70 volunteers lay flags near veterans’ gravestones in Craig

Memorial Day events in area:

• A flag-raising ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. today at Sandrock Ridge Care & Rehab, 943 W. Eighth Dr. The event is open to the public.

• A Memorial Day remembrance ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. today at Craig Cemetery. The event is also open to the public.

Sebastian Hadley, 7, salutes while Hunter Roberts, 11, places a flag Sunday night at Craig Cemetery in preparation for today's Memorial Day service. Mikey Bingham, 11, far right, and Thomas Baker, 10, in the background, also volunteered to help set flags by veterans' headstones.
Shawn McHugh

Families, veterans and community members gathered Sunday night at Craig Cemetery to place American flags at 680 gravestones belonging to local veterans.

The flag placement was in preparation for today's Memorial Day service.

"I think we should honor veterans every day, not just on specific holidays," said Jake Garcia, an Army veteran and member of American Legion Post 62.

"It is a great honor to do this for these men and women."

More than 70 people, ranging local residents, the American Legion, Craig Bad Dogs youth wrestling team and Cub Scout Pack 166 helped place the flags.

Michael Lausin, commander of the Sons of the American Legion, led the event.

Lausin said Sunday night was one of the biggest groups to have helped place the flags.

"It is really cool to have so many people out here," he said. "It means a lot."

When volunteers arrived, Lausin split them into groups of three. Each group had tasks such as keeping record of flags placed, carrying the flags and placing the flags.

The event has been going on for more than 50 years with the American Legion taking over two years ago, Lausin said.

"Not every veteran is in our records, and we don't want to hurt anyone," he said. "We keep adding them as we know

about them."

Beverly Chapman, a representative of the local AARP chapter, said she has always wanted to help place the flags.

Chapman walked around with Julie Hall, who teamed with her son Colton Hall, 10, and Lane Gonzalez, 11, both members of the Bad Dogs wrestling team.

"(Colton) told me last year after this event that it made him feel good because this was his way of giving back to the people who gave their lives for our country," Hall said.

At 11 a.m. today, Lausin, the American Legion and other area veterans will honor all of Moffat County's veterans with a Memorial Day service.

The public is encouraged to attend the ceremony.