Landmark to fill in for service
A new De Soto landmark will stand in for one that is temporarily out of duty during this year's Memorial Day observances.
Rocky Hughes, commander of Linden-Tripkos Memorial VFW Post 665, said the post will place 173 flags Monday on 83rd Street and along the route to the cemetery. The post has already decorated the graves of veterans at the cemetery, he said.
Traditionally, the post has had a ceremony at the veteran's plaque in front of Memorial Hall, Hughes said. However, this year the plaque was removed when city offices moved from Memorial Hall to the new City Hall on 84th Street. The plaque is to be placed on a monument in front of City Hall as part of the building's landscaping.
That means this year the post's ceremonies will be at 10 a.m. Monday at the cemetery flag poles, Hughes said. The observance will include a prayer, rifle team and moment of silence.
The flag poles were installed last winter after Nathan Chick took on the 10-year-old concept as an Eagle Scout project.
He moved the project along by coordinating the efforts of the VFW and the cemetery board. The project was helped by $1,000 donations form the VFW post, an anonymous donor and Ruth Dicken in the memory of her late husband, Wayne.
In addition, the VFW contributed the electrical work for the flagpoles' lighting. Chick was able to secure additional volunteer help from Jeff Vandwynkle of Midwest Concrete Systems Inc., who drilled the holes for the poles, and Marty Humbert of HM Enterprises, who provided the concrete work at the site.
The American, Kansas and VFW flags that fly from the poles day and night are illuminated by a 500 watt bulb after sundown. They stand on a hill on the cemetery's south side overlooking the De Soto High School sports complex.
Chick, a junior at De Soto High School, said he is eager to see flags flying from the poles during games next fall.
"I wasn't sure how it was going to come out, but it came together real well," he said. "It should be a pretty impressive sight during football games."