Iowans have been gathering in cemetaries, along parade routes and around the courthouse square for Memorial Day ceremonies throughout the state.
A wreath was cast into the Iowa River in Marshalltown, in memory of American sailors who died at sea. Ceremonies were held at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery near Van Meter and at the Keokuk National Cemetery where Civil War dead are buried. The governor ordered that flags at state-owned facilities be flown at half-staff today.
During a Memorial Day commemoration in Le Mars, veteran Jim Rolfes read a poem he wrote. It’s titled “Come Visit My Grave” and written from the perspective of a soldier speaking to those still alive.
“It’s sad that for many who fought so brave, now no one comes to visit their grave,” Rolfes first wrote and recited more than a decade ago. “We died so that you could have one whole year free. Now can’t you save just this one day for me?”
Rolfe and other volunteers put up 1400 flags in Le Mars for this Memorial Day.
(Reporting by Ken Huge, KFJB, Marshalltown, and Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)