Memorial Day observances set
Many community groups and individuals plan Memorial Day observances Monday in honor of military personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice. To complete his Eagle Scout project, Taylor Egg will be raising a 33-foot flagpole Monday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 10606 Hilltop Drive, New Port Richey. Troop 38 will set out dozens of flags in Pasco County neighborhoods, as they do the morning of each major flag holiday. In Zephyrhills, Boy Scout Troop 72 will properly retire American flags from 7 to 8 p.m. at Shepard Park, U.S. 301 and A Avenue.About 50 flags will be retired at this ceremony, which was the idea of the 25 members of Troop 72, who range in age from 11 to 17. "The kids themselves came up with this idea and will perform the entire ceremony," said Scoutmaster Gregg Hilferding of the troop. Although the troop has retired flags in the past, this marks their first public retirement ceremony. "The Boy Scouts and veterans groups are the only ones that accept flags for retirement, and folks pretty much know that," Hilferding said. "We usually get a few flags that we retire during campouts, but this time we had more than we could handle." At Monday's hour-long ceremony, several Scouts will deliver speeches about the meaning and significance of the American flag. Then 50 flags will be retired in an official burning ceremony. "This is a solemn event in which we recognize these flags for their years of service," said Hilferding. Attendees should bring a chair for this outdoor event. Snacks and light refreshments will be provided courtesy of Goin' Postal. Other events include: VFW in Holiday The Veterans of Foreign Wars Holiday Post 10167 will hold Memorial Day services at 11 a.m. at the post, 4619 Bartelt Road, Holiday. People with frayed American flags can bring them to the VFW for proper disposal. For information, call (727) 938-5977. Soldiers monument Also at 11 a.m. Monday in downtown New Port Richey, the Knights of Columbus 5869 honor guard will participate in a ceremony to place a wreath at the soldiers memorial along Veterans Walk at Orange Lake, near the intersection of Circle and Grand boulevards. The honor guard will proceed to the West Pasco Historical Society, 6431 Circle Blvd., where a flag will be honorably retired and replaced. An open house at the museum will honor all veterans and their friends with a special display of World War I and II newspapers and other memorabilia, including a war bond poster of Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima, and numerous books from Callaghan Books South honoring the sacrifices of veterans. At noon, the historical society's head librarian, Dan Callaghan, will speak. The retired educator served as a captain in the Marine Corps and Army Special Forces in the 1960s and early 1970s. Veterans in attendance also will be encouraged to speak. For information, contact Callaghan at (727) 372-1742 or Terry Kline at (727) 237-3148. West Elfers Cemetery The West Elfers Cemetery Preservation Association will honor veterans and hold a special flagpole dedication to formally dedicate a new flagpole at 11 a.m. at the West Elfers Cemetery. From U.S. 19, turn west on State Road 54 and drive about three-quarter of a mile. The cemetery is directly ahead (on a curve) and up a small hill. For information, call (727) 863-1779. Other highlights Many picnics are planned for Monday. These include: •From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Knights of Columbus Council 6476 invites the public to its celebration at Father Farrell Family Life Center, 4843 Mile Stretch Drive, Holiday. Admission is free. Food will be available for purchase. The Ellis Hale Combo will provide dance music. Call (727) 943-5095. •American Legion Paradise Post 79, 5329 Legion Place, New Port Richey, will host an indoor picnic from 3 to 7 p.m. with hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, baked beans, salad and more. The Rockstars will play from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Cost is $3 per person. For information, call (727) 842-8387. •Lakeside Club and Pool, 12606 Shadow Ridge Blvd., Hudson, will hold a picnic at noon Monday. The menu includes steak and chicken. Bring a dish to share. Cost is $10 adults and $4 children. For information, call (727) 857-9017.