By Ron VandenBoom
A flag retirement ceremony will signal the start of a full weekend of Memorial Day activities in Havre that is expected to include Canadian veteran organizations and a keynote address by Attorney General Joe Mazurek, Democratic candidate for governor.
The flag retirement ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, May 27, at 9 a.m. in the VFW Club parking lot.
Bob Rice, commander of VFW Post 497, said the purpose of the retirement is to allow anyone in the community with an old or worn flag to properly disposed of it.
Rice invites anyone having a flag that can no longer be used to bring it to the VFW Club Saturday for the ceremony.
Saturday evening, Canadian contingents of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 6 of Redclif, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 17 of Medicine Hat, and Canadian Korean Veterans Association will be welcomed starting at 6 p.m. with a no-host cocktail hour at the VFW Club. A baron of beef dinner will follow the cocktail hour.
Sunday will see a pot-luck and barbecue at the VFW Club starting at 1 p.m.
Memorial Day services hosted by the United Veteran's of Havre will begin Monday at 10:30 a.m. with an honor guard of United States and Canadian veterans and auxiliaries marching from the VFW Club to the Hill County Courthouse lawn.
More than 50 American flags will line the sidewalks of the Courthouse lawn before the program begins at 11 a.m.
Veterans in dress uniform will be lower the Courthouse flag to half-mast and Rev. Al Rosgaard will give the invocation. A reading of deceased veterans and auxiliary members of the past year and a laying of the wreaths by all veteran and auxiliary organizations will follow the invocation.
A 21 gun salute and the playing of Taps by bugler Kyle Howard will signal the conclusion of the outside portion of the service that will then retire to the VFW Club.
A welcome by Hill County commissioner, Kathy Bessette, will be followed by vocalist Rev. Steve Flatau, who is expected to sing several patriotic songs.
This will be followed by an introduction of local veterans and Canadian dignitaries and the receiving of deceased veteran's flags.
A poetry reading will follow the presentation of flags and the address by Mazurek.
Following the conclusion of the ceremony a free beef stew lunch will be provided to all those attending.
The public is invited and encouraged to participate in any or all of the Memorial Day events.