Carbon Post 17 (Red Lodge, Mont.) Memorial Day

Carbon Post 17 - Red Lodge, MT

This year, as in the past, we start Memorial Day with breakfast at 0700 at a Red Lodge restaurant or, this year, at the Elks Lodge. Post 17 picks up the tab.

Post members drive to the small town of Belfry (east of R.L. about 14 miles) and at 0830 we do about a 20-minute ceremony at the local cemetery. We then proceed back west, to the cemetery at Bear Creek for a 0930 service. Then back to Red Lodge where we participate at 1030 in the Red Lodge Parade on Broadway. Immediately following the parade, members and many others proceed to the R.L. cemetery which has a large military section plus many veterans resting throughout the rest of the cemetery, dating back as far as the Civil War.

At noon, we return to the Elks Lodge where they provide lunch for all comers.

We proceed north about 18 miles, to the small town of Roberts which is noted as having one of the highest percentage of veterans per capita of any town in the United States. At 1330 we line up in the Roberts parade starting at the fire hall and ending several blocks later at the school. We then travel (up the hill) about 1 mile to the cemetery where we do our final service.

Additionally, on Saturday a group gets together and places over 250 small flags on all the veteran graves we can locate. It is easy in the "veteran section" but gets more difficult in the main cemetery, as many grave stones are not clearly marked as being a veteran. With the help of some old-timers, who are rapidly disappearing, we have been putting small labels from Emblem Sales on the poorly marked headstones. The week after Memorial Day we have to go back and remove all the flags.

Finally, a member familiar with a very old church and cemetery, St. Olaf's, about 25 miles west of RL on a gravel road, volunteered to place about 50 small flags on veteran graves in that cemetery.

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