Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Topeka's Veterans Honored in Salute ; Veterans: Hundreds of Flags Placed at Graves

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Topeka's Veterans Honored in Salute ; Veterans: Hundreds of Flags Placed at Graves

Article excerpt

By nearly anyone's standards, Saturday morning wasn't the most pleasant day to be outside, particularly if you found yourself tromping around at Topeka Cemetery, 1601 S.E. 10th.

Your shoes got wet, and the bottom of your jeans were soggy. And if you were wearing shorts, you probably ended up with mud spattered on the backs of your legs.

Yet those momentary inconveniences were hardly noticed -- especially when taken in context of the supreme sacrifice paid by hundreds of members of the U.S. military whose lives were being honored during a ceremony conducted in the drizzle at the cemetery.

Saturday wasn't a time to think about the rain and the mud. No, it was a time to remember and honor those who had fought to preserve freedoms that are still being enjoyed to this day by millions of Americans.

The veterans buried at Topeka Cemetery were honored by the sound of gun volleys and the playing of the national anthem and by a single cornet playing "Taps."

And they were honored by scores of young people who fanned out across the cemetery to find graves of Civil War veterans, then placed small versions of the stars and stripes on them.

A ceremony at 9 a.m. in the cemetery's Civil War section included remarks by City Councilman Chad Manspeaker, who said afterward he thought he may have surprised those who invited him to speak when he noted his great-great-great-grandfather, C.W. Jewell -- for whom S.W. Jewell Avenue is named -- is buried in Topeka Cemetery.

Further, he mentioned in his talk that Jewell's brother died in 1863 during a Civil War battle at Canehill, Ark.

"On Memorial Day," Manspeaker said, "it's important for us to remember that these men gave all of their days so we may have all of ours, so let's not waste it."

Members of local Boy Scout troops and the U.S. Navy Junior ROTC program from Shawnee Heights High School were among the dozens of people who placed hundreds of American flags at the gravesites after the ceremony.

Patrick McCarty, 16, a Shawnee Heights High School junior and member of the Boy Scouts, said Saturday was the first time he had placed flags at the veterans' gravesites. …

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