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Post Falls Post pushes ahead

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | May 19, 2020 1:00 AM

Will hold Memorial Day activities, starting Friday

Post Falls American Legion Post 143 is pushing ahead with Memorial Day weekend activities and ceremonies, starting Friday.

Others canceled in-person Memorial Day events due to the coronavirus. But Tim Shaw, spokesman for American Legion Steven H. Nipp Post 143, said he worked with Evergreen Cemetery and the city of Post Falls to work out an alternative to the large gathering usually held on Memorial Day.

“I want to give a huge shout out to Kevin Palmer, Evergreen Cemetery and the City of Post Falls for working with American Legion Post 143,” he wrote.

Bryan Bledsoe, adjutant for American Legion Post 154 in Rathdrum, said they will be participating with the city of Rathdrum in a virtual ceremony at noon on Memorial Day.

“Please enjoy this ceremony from the comfort of your home,” according to Rathdrum Parks & Recreation. “The cemetery will be open for families to visit their loved ones, however, spectators will not be allowed at the ceremony.”

Here’s a look at what’s ahead:

• Friday — Flags will be posted. There are about 750 flags that are posted each year — one in each veteran’s grave interred at Evergreen. Veterans will be cleaning out the tube that holds each flag and placing the flags starting at 10 a.m. Friday. The public is invited to help. Bring a long screwdriver, a pair of pliers and work gloves.

• Friday to Monday — The cemetery will be open for visitors to pay their respects. The flags will remain posted.

• Monday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Members of Post 143 will be at the cemetery to hand out brochures with the history of Memorial Day and the list of names of veterans in the area who have passed since last Memorial Day.

• Monday at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m., there will be a reading of the names of those veterans who have passed since last Memorial Day with a tolling of the bell and taps. The public is invited to come listen, but social distancing will be enforced.

• Wreaths will be placed by the Post at the wall starting on Friday. The public is encouraged to place a wreath, too.

“This allows all who come to the cemetery throughout the weekend to read the respects given by their friends and neighbors,” wrote Kris Phillips, commander, American Legion Post 143.

Phillips said as an alternative for the community to pay its respect to departed veterans, Post 143 is offering yellow ribbons for people to write a message. These ribbons will be placed at the bottom of the flags.

“The messages will show everyone visiting the unwavering support veterans receive in Post Falls,” Phillips wrote. “The more yellow ribbons placed, the more the show of respect to those visiting the cemetery.”

The ribbons will be available at Evergreen on Friday and Monday. Donations will be accepted.

The Post will remove the flags and wreaths starting at 3 p.m. Monday. Anyone wishing to help is welcome to come by the cemetery.

“We believe this is an excellent substitute for our normal ceremony, honors our departed veterans with respect and dignity, and still allows for protective measures to minimize the spread of the virus,” Phillips wrote. “We hope you do too and will join us.”