Several Memorial Day events are set to take place in the coming week to honor those who died in active military service. From walks to ceremonies to remembrance events, there are a number of ways the community can pay tribute this year.
On May 28 at 8 a.m., the VFW Auxiliary and several other veterans’ organizations will be placing flags on veterans’ graves. According to Cathy Mullins, spokesperson for Kentucky Remembers and founder of the Brandon Scott Mullins Memorial Foundation a number of crosses have already been placed on the VFW lawn.
On May 28 at 4 p.m., VFW Post 696 will host its annual Remembrance Field of Poppies. The red poppies serve as “an international symbol of remembrance,” Mullins said, and the crosses represent Flanders Field, a region in Europe where hundreds of thousands of soldiers died during World War I.
On May 29 at 11 a.m., a Raise the Flag ceremony will be held at Diamond Lake Resort. The free event will take place in front of the Pit Stop Grill, followed by a Golf Cart Rodeo.
On May 29 at 2 p.m., Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory will hold its Annual Day of Remembrance. The abbreviated version of the ceremony will be at Owensboro Memorial Gardens, located at 5050 KY 144.
The Annual Day of Remembrance will feature a live soloist, guest speaker and the VFW 696 Honor Guard. Chairs will be provided, or attendees can bring their own. There will be no traditional after-event refreshments and social distancing guidelines will be in place to ensure the safety of all in attendance.
On May 30 at 1 p.m., American Legion will hold a memorial service at Elmwood Cemetery.
On May 31 (Memorial Day) at 8 a.m., a Walk/Run to Honor and Remember will start at the Gold Star Families Memorial downtown. The event won’t be timed, but according to Mullins, “People can come, get their workout in that morning and start Memorial Day right.”
Two national organizations — Carry the Load and the Woody Williams Foundation — will be involved with the event, and Mullins said Mayor Tom Watson will say a few words as well.
While the event is free, those in attendance can make donations to the organizations and get a T-shirt in return.
Mullins said the walk/run would be family friendly and fun for kids.
On May 31 (Memorial Day) at 11 a.m., the annual 11-mile Memorial Day Walk created by U.S. Army Veteran Derek “Doc” Van Tuyl will be start downtown. Van Tuyl held the first walk in 2014 to pay tribute to the anniversary of losing a close friend while deployed in Afghanistan.
“Because I ended up losing a couple friends over there, I decided to hold the walk for them on Memorial Day,” he said.
The 11-mile loop around town will begin at 10 a.m. at the Veterans Plaza in Smothers Park, where the National Anthem will be played by violin and a moment of silence will take place before the walk begins.
From Smothers Park, the route will run along Frederica Street, Southtown Boulevard, Carter Road and Parrish Avenue before turning back onto Frederica and finishing up at Smothers Park.
Though Van Tuyl will walk the entire 11 miles — carrying a flag and a photo collage of his friends attached to his backpack — he said there will be a halfway point where those who participate can take a break, join the walk or head home.
“People can come and go, that’s why I chose the roads I did,” he said. “I live at the halfway point and people can start or end there.”
The walk’s halfway point will provide a table with refreshments, and those who would like to pay tribute to their fallen friend or relative can submit the individual’s name, branch of service, date of death and theatre of combat served. Those can be submitted to Van Tuyl, who will have small flags placed in his yard with the names of those who died in service to their country.
On May 31 (Memorial Day) at 11 a.m., the Owensboro-Daviess County Veterans Organization will hold a Memorial Day ceremony at the Owensboro Sportscenter.