Ceremony organizer Murphy Musick hoists the flag to half staff in honor of the men and women who died while in the military service. Photo by Marion Vendituoli

Approximately 35 people gathered at the Patagonia Cemetery on May 29 for a flag raising ceremony organized by Murphy Musick. Musick, who has been planting flags on the graves of veterans in the Patagonia Cemetery for the past 30 years, organized the Memorial Day event and plans to also hold a Veterans Day ceremony in November. 

After raising the flag to its full height and then lowering it to half-staff to commemorate fallen veterans, Musick explained to the onlookers that the lowering was done to make room for an “invisible flag of death” flying above. 

He noted that, in the past, the town had celebrated Memorial Day, organized by the VFW and the American Legion, but that the members had all gotten too old, or had passed, and the event had been discontinued. “It is up to us to bring it back,” he said.

The Patagonia minstrels play patriotic songs at the Memorial Day ceremony in the Patagonia Cemetery. From left: Christina Wilhelm, Pat McNamara, and Mark Berg. Photo by Marion Vendituoli