Decoration Day is coming up in Moose Jaw on Sunday, June 2, and Moose Jaw’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch 59 is looking for volunteers to help them place flags on the graves of veterans.  

The observance of Decoration Day originally took place on June 2, 1890, out of a desire to recognize the contributions of Canadian veterans during the Battle of Ridgeway at the time of the Fenian Raids in 1866. 

Sue Knox is a military veteran, current poppy chair at the Legion, and has been involved with Decoration Day since moving back to Moose Jaw in 2011 after her retirement from the military. 

Knox said there are approximately 2000 graves of veterans in Moose Jaw, and they aim to put a flag on each gravesite. 

“If they’re part of the Allied Forces, we try and flag their graves with a flag of their country as well,” she added. 

Decoration Day is commemorated on the first Sunday in June. “On the Saturday before Sunday, we do the flags for the gravesites at both Sunset Cemetery, as well as the old Moose Jaw Cemetery on the east end.” 

“On Sunday, we do Rosedale Cemetery, which is the largest of the three. Following the flag planting, then we have a memorial ceremony at the cenotaph in the old veterans' section at Rosedale.” 

Events will happen as follows: 

Saturday, June 1 – 9:30 a.m., flag planting will commence at Sunset Cemetery and the old Moose Jaw Cemetery 

Sunday, June 2 – 9:00 a.m., flag planting will commence at Rosedale Cemetery. 

Sunday, June 2 – 11:00 a.m. memorial ceremony will start at Rosedale Cemetery with wreath-laying by dignitaries and cadets 

Sunday, June 2 – 12:00 p.m. participants are invited to join the Legion for a Barbecue lunch 

Volunteers are encouraged to come and place flags for any of the three cemeteries at the times provided and are not required to pre-register.  

Knox also wants to know if there are any veterans they do not know about who should be added to the list for flag placing, including their names and gravesites if known.  

Sue Knox can be reached at 306-684-5593, or those with information on veterans or questions about Decoration Day can reach out to the Legion office during business hours Monday through Friday at 306-692-5453

“We try to honour the individuals that we know are out there, who have died in service for our country, and we will continue to do so as long as we have the capability.”