Over the weekend and on May 31, local cities and organizations will hold ceremonies to honor the nation’s veterans who have either fallen in combat or have otherwise died.
Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971. It was originally known as Decoration Day and originated in the years following the Civil War, according to the History Channel.
Below is a list of known ceremonies in the area. If anyone knows of other ceremonies that are taking place on Memorial Day or over the course of the weekend, please provide a flyer or information to email@example.com.
- At 9 a.m. Monday, a virtual ceremony will take place from the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. It is being put on by the Area Veterans Advisory Committee (AVAC). The ceremony will take place on Zoom at http://bit.ly/MemDay21. The event is not open to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic, but will shown live on Zoom and on the KDH Facebook page. The keynote speaker for the virtual ceremony will be retired Lt. Gen. J.T. Thomson, a former 1st Cavalry Division commander.
- At 3 p.m. May 31, members of the Multi-educational Cross Cultural and Arts Association of Central Texas (MECATX) will play a cascading taps ceremony at the veterans cemetery, 11463 State Highway 195, Killeen. Cascading taps means the bugle players will go from grave to grave, playing the familiar bugle call. The public is invited to attend and can request the bugle players to play at a particular grave by getting a map from the information center and giving it to the lead musician.
- Victory for Veterans and the Memorial Day Flower Foundation, nonprofit organizations, will be placing about 4,000 flowers on graves at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. To volunteer, go to the event page at https://bit.ly/3wGsHFM and click “Going.” The organizer will send a message with the meeting location and time. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. Monday, but start times for volunteers are staggered every half-hour.
- The Central Texas Patriot Guard Riders is having its 14th annual Freedom Run on Monday beginning at Freedom Country Jeep, 3620 E. Central Texas Expressway, Killeen. Registration for the ride begins at 7:30 a.m. Monday. The run will begin at 8:30 a.m. and go to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. The event will include a mystery run, lunch and prizes/auction.
- Dodge Country Used Cars, 1902 E. Central Texas Expressway in Killeen is hosting a Memorial Day celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The event will include food trucks, huge bounce house, face painting for kids, petting zoo, pony rides, outdoor games and a dunking booth. It is free and open to the public.
- VFW Post 9192, 301 Wolf Street in Killeen, is hosting a Memorial Day barbecue from 1 to 10 p.m. Monday. It is free and open to the public. The Post Auxiliary will also be hosting a bake sale at this time.
- On Saturday, at 8 a.m., the Boy Scouts and cemetery staff will be on hand to pass out flags for members of the community to volunteer to lay at every grave at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, 11463 State Highway 195, Killeen.
- An emergency clinic in Killeen is hosting a Memorial Day picnic event Saturday. The free event, open to the public, will run from 1 to 4 p.m. at SignatureCare Emergency Center, 800 W. Central Texas Expressway, in Killeen. The picnic will feature contests like an egg race, a watermelon eating contest, a water balloon toss and a hula hoop contest.
- Harker Heights will hold a virtual Memorial Day ceremony that anyone can access online at 10 a.m. on May 31. To access the ceremony, go to the Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/harkerheightspr. As part of the remembrance, residents who have submitted a photo of their loved one to be posted on a tribute page for the fallen can be viewed at www.harkerheights.gov/memorialday2021. During the weekend, the veterans and Purple Heart monuments by City Hall, 305 Miller’s Crossing, will have flags on display and in the evening the monuments will have color lights projected towards them. A wreath will be displayed next to the Veterans Monument on May 31.
- At 2 p.m. Monday, GameDay Sports Bar and Grill, 302 W. Veterans Memorial Blvd., will be hosting a Memorial Day cookout. Entry is free, and the event will include a complimentary toast to the fallen.
- The public is invited to join Cub Scout Pack 251 and the VFW Post 8577 at Copperas Cove City Cemetery, 415 E. Ave. A, to place flags at the graves of veterans on Monday. Flags will be placed at 8:30 a.m. Monday and will be picked up at 5 p.m. Monday.
- The city of Kempner will honor fallen veterans at 10 a.m. May 31 at Sylvia Tucker Memorial Park, 12641 U.S. Highway 190, Kempner.
Closings and Trash Impact
With Memorial Day being a federal holiday, area city offices will be closed. It may also affect trash service that day in some area cities.
City of Killeen offices will be closed in observance of Memorial Day, May 31.
Emergency services will operate without interruption, according to a news release from the city of Killeen.
Garbage collection will run on its normal schedule, but the transfer station and recycle center will be closed. Recycle trailers will remain open.
The Family Recreation Center will be open from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Both libraries will be closed, Lions Club Park Senior Center and Killeen Animal Shelter will be closed, according to the release.
Normal business hours will resume June 1.
Harker Heights City Hall will be closed for Memorial Day on May 31. Normal business hours will resume June 1.
There will be no delay in trash service.
In Copperas Cove, all city offices will be closed, including the Solid Waste Transfer Station.
Trash collection is as follows:
May 31: No trash collection or recycle, brush and bulk collection.
June 1: Areas 1 and 2 for trash collection; Area 1 for recycle, brush and bulk collection.
June 2: Areas 3 and 4 for trash collection; Area 3 for recycle, brush and bulk collection.
June 3: Areas 5 and 6 for trash collection; Area 5 for recycle, brush and bulk collection.
June 4: Areas 7 and 8 for trash collection; Area 7 for recycle, brush and bulk collection.
Commercial trash will be collected on the regularly scheduled day.