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Film, flag planting mark Memorial Day

Planting flags at veterans’ gravesites Saturday.

A parade Sunday.

Memorial services Monday.

Open houses afterwards at American Legion and VFW posts.

These are some of the activities local veterans groups have planned for Memorial Day weekend.

They include:

n A 5 p.m. Friday showing of “Lioness,” an award-winning documentary about the first female Marines in combat at Ramadi, Iraq, in 2003.

It is hosted by Women Veterans Network (WOVEN) at American Legion Kirby Stewart Post 24, 2000 75th St. W., Bradenton.

“We want to raise the visibility of women veterans for Memorial Day,” said Celia Szelwach, the founder and director of WOVEN.

After the movie, Veterans Affairs officials Susan Young and Elaine Westermeyer will join Szelwach for a panel discussion.

The public is invited. Call 794-3489.

n On Saturday morning, American Legion Christopher Cobb Memorial Post 312 in Oneco will plant flags at nearby Manasota Memorial Park; VFW Post 9266 in Ellenton will do so at nearby Mansion Memorial Park.

“Remembrance, it’s really what Memorial Day is about,” said Angela Silva, president of Post 9266’s ladies auxiliary.

Some 1,500 flags will be planted at Mansion Memorial Park, and perhaps twice that many will be planted at Manasota Memorial Park.

“We know where every veteran’s grave is,” said Robert Joseph, commander of Post 312’s honor guard.

n At 1 p.m. Sunday, a Salute to Heroes Day Parade will be held at Lakewood Ranch Main Street, involving Manatee Operation Troop Support, Braden River VFW Post 12055, and Lakewood Ranch High School.

There will be patriotic music and a big container outside Ed’s Tavern where MOTS volunteers will accept packages to be mailed to Manatee residents serving overseas.

n Three Memorial Day observances take place Monday morning,

The primary service is 9 a.m. at the Veterans Monument behind Manatee Memorial Hospital, where color guards and representatives from the county’s veterans groups and organizations will be on hand for speeches and laying of wreaths.

Post 312 and DAV Chapter 18 will also hold a service at 9 a.m. at Manasota Memorial Park, 1221 53rd Ave. E.

Post 9226 will join VFW Post 2488, American Legion Posts 309 of Palmetto and 325 of Ellenton, and AMVETS Post 301 of Ellenton in a 10 a.m. service at Mansion Memorial Park, 1400 36th Ave. E., Ellenton.

Afterward, most veterans posts will host open houses free to the public.

They include:

n American Legion Kirby Stewart Post 24, 2000 75th St. W., Bradenton. Chicken dinner from 1 to 3 p.m. Call 794-3489.

n American Legion Christopher Cobb Memorial Post 312 , 1610 67th Ave. E., Oneco. Open house at 1 p.m. Call 758-6616.

n VFW Post 10141, 420 67th St. W., Bradenton. Open house at 11 a.m. Guests are encouraged to bring a covered dish. Call 794-6394.

n VFW Post 2488, 810 6th St. W., Palmetto. Open house at noon. Call 722-9588.

n VFW Post 9226, 3511 12th St. E., Ellenton. A cookout free for all veterans starts at noon. Call 725-8535.

n Marine Corps League DeSoto Detachment 588, 800 17th Ave. W., Bradenton. Open house at noon. Call 741-USMC (8762).