Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Memorial Day Ceremonies Honor Veterans ; Ceremonies: 'It Shows People Haven't Forgotten'

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Memorial Day Ceremonies Honor Veterans ; Ceremonies: 'It Shows People Haven't Forgotten'

Article excerpt

Memorial Day 2015 got off to a wet start, as a fast-moving thunderstorm rolled through Topeka around 6:30 a.m. Monday, just after dawn.

Then, just as quickly, the storm had passed and the sun came out around 8 a.m. for what forecasters said would be a pleasant holiday.

Many people took advantage of the window of sunshine Monday morning, braving soggy conditions at local cemeteries to decorate gravesites with flowers, a way of remembering those who have died.

Several local cemeteries had special ceremonies to honor military and civil service personnel who gave their lives in the line of duty.

Avenue of Flags

At Mount Hope Cemetery, 4700 S.W. 17th, several dozen members of the Topeka High School U.S. Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program gathered about 6:15 a.m. to honor America's veterans.

The youths placed American flags in already-dug holes on either side of a roadway that wound through the cemetery.

The high school volunteers joined members of the Topeka Marine Corps League Gen. Lewis W. Walt Detachment in decorating the cemetery's Avenue of Flags.

The volunteers had started installing the flags when, about 6:30 a.m., the skies darkened and, a few minutes later, the rain began to fall.

The Junior ROTC members made double-time, getting nearly all of the flags in position by 6:40 a.m. -- just as a bright lightning strike and loud boom shook an area just northeast of the cemetery.

Matthew Mattivi, a Topeka High freshman and a Junior ROTC cadet, said he and others in his group were "putting up flags around the whole cemetery for all the veterans who will be visiting" on Memorial Day.

As for the sudden flash of lightning and loud rumble of thunder, he said, "It's scary for some people, but it's just an obstacle we're going to overcome."

Honoring Vietnam vets

About 130 people paid tribute to local Vietnam veterans who have died during a 10 a.m. ceremony at Topeka Cemetery, 1601 S.E. 10th.

As the names of 35 veterans were read, a single bell chime sounded. A person then stepped forward and brought a single red rose to the front of the Vietnam veterans memorial, on the south side of the cemetery. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.