Those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the course of serving their country will be honored in Memorial Day-themed events in Denton County on Saturday and Sunday.
The American Legion Riders from Post 71 in Denton are sponsoring the Field of Honor ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the field next to the post at 2500 Spencer Road. The ceremony will be followed by a potluck luncheon.
The American flags in the ceremony are a way to remember veterans and those who are presently serving in the armed forces. Last year, there were 170 flags on display, but post commander Perry Patrick said he expects fewer this year.
“This year, because so many people have been sick and we lost a couple, we tailored it a little down to honor them and to make it a simple get-together — some good food, refreshments … a small ceremony,” he said.
The flag display was open to anyone who wanted to honor a veteran.
“It’s an opportunity to say ‘I have a soldier in Afghanistan’ and you want to honor them, or ‘Hey, I have a lost grandfather who served in World War II.’ It’s a way to put a remembrance on them.”
Patrick recalled last year’s ceremony, when a mother placed her 6-month-old daughter in a rocker for a photo next to the flag honoring the infant’s father.
“Those are the types of memories we make with this Field of Honor,” he said.
Patrick anticipates 70 percent to 75 percent of the flags to be for soldiers from Denton County or the surrounding area.
“The Field of Honor is not about displaying the flag, but patriotism, Americanism and being a community asset,” he said.
On Sunday, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2205 in Denton will have its annual ceremony at Roselawn Memorial Park at 1 p.m.
“It instills in the hearts of the people who attend, to not forget the veterans,” said post commander Wayne Trevathan.
He said there would be a simulated coffin with flowers and wreaths placed on it as a tribute to those who gave their lives over the years.
“We do it every year. We never falter on it,” Trevathan said. “We invite the public to be there. And each year we have had a large group that will attend — it’s quite an activity.”
The ceremony will be about 45 minutes long, he said.
Trevathan said that Roselawn provided flags that will be placed along the route to direct people to the site of the ceremony.
“The work the cemetery does — helping setting up the flags and providing us what we need — they really go out of their way, and we appreciate that,” he said.
Robson Ranch is having a Memorial Day party from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at 9501 Ed Robson Blvd.
The public is invited to come and enjoy music, fun and a traditional barbecue.
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.