Veterans get up and ready for Memorial Day

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -- Memorial Day is Monday but veterans were up early Saturday morning getting ready for the holiday. Tv20 joined up with two groups of veterans out in the community doing their best to remember those who served.

In Gainesville a group of veterans started at 8 am putting yellow ribbons around trees that surround the Korean and Vietnam memorial on Southwest Archer Road.
Carl Covey is the chaplain for the KW 267 who said, "you might remember the song about the oak tree and the yellow ribbon it's an old country-western, my favorite song. Tie a ribbon around the old oak tree, when you come home the ribbon remembers you and you can take it down at that time, if you don't that yellow ribbon is still there."

Tv20's Landon Harrar reported, "the veterans aren't just putting these ribbons on the trees because they're near the memorial, these trees and there are 136 of them, are actually part of the memorial. They are to represent the 136 servicemen and women from Alachua County who died while serving in Korea and Vietnam."

And while Memorial Day is a day to reflect and remember, American Legion commanders like Richard Stalbaum had recent national news they want every living veteran to know. "The American Legion was only allowed to accept members who served during wartime. You did not have to serve in combat just during wartime. President Trump signed into law a few months ago the Legion Act which made the Cold War an actual conflict so now the people we used to turn away are allowed to join our organization."

Happening also in Alachua County, another group visited multiple cemeteries placing flags on graves for those who served.
Commander for American Legion Post 230 Ken Krug said, "We put out over 200 flags and we had a total of 7 cemeteries the principal one being Hawthorne. We also did Acquilla, we did Chapel Trail, Lochloosa, we're now at St. Pauls cemetery and we've done Windsor cemetery."

Krug says they place flags every year so family members who come to see the graves of their loved ones know not a single veteran is overlooked or forgotten.