Hope remembers its veterans at annual ceremony

Carla Clark | For The Republic Marty Kildren and Roger Burke shake hands as Roger’s daughter, Sgt. First Class Brandi Kammel, looks on during the Memorial Day ceremony held by the Veterans Memorial at the Moravian Cemetery in Hope, Indiana, Monday, May 30, 2022.

HOPE — American Legion Post 229 in Hope organized its traditional Memorial Day services around the community, which included visits a number of local cemeteries culminating in a ceremony at the Hope Veteran Memorial at the Moravian Cemetery.

The post was chartered in 1934.

On the weekend prior to Memorial Day, members gather at the memorial to place a display of white crosses, in memory of those who have died. The cross tradition began in 1952 with the display of 162 crosses with names of local deceased veterans stenciled on them and placed in the Hope Town Square.

Over the years, as the numbers increased, the display was moved to the Legion lot at the Moravian Cemetery, and when it reached 550, it became too difficult for storage and display.

The American Legion Post 229, with the assistance of Hope and area communities, created and dedicated the current granite memorial on Nov. 12, 2000.

New names are added to the granite memorial each year. To create the military style display, Post members now place 79 crosses without names, with a small U.S. flag on each one.