Memorial Day

Transcript file photo

The Norman Police Department Honor Guard presents the colors during the American Legion Post 88's Memorial Day ceremony at the IOOF Cemetery last year. The ceremony is slated to take place again this year on Monday at 11 a.m.

Oklahomans are preparing for a variety of events for Memorial Day weekend after a week of severe weather.

Norman’s American Legion Post 88 will hold two services at local cemeteries designed to honor U.S. military personnel who have died. The first will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Warren Cemetery in Brookhaven. Flags will be put on veterans’ grave sites by American Legion members, with Norman Police Honor Guard led by Lt. Lee McWhorter on site. Don Hunter will serve as the main speaker, and “Taps” will be played by Tyrone Richard.

The second service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the IOOF Cemetery, 1913 N. Porter Ave. in Norman. Boy Scout Troop 217 led by Tom Burkett will place between 400-500 American flags on veterans’ graves. The honor guard will be present again, and the Rev. Paul Bettis will lead the ceremony. “Taps” will be played by Richard again. The public is invited to both events.

• Lake Thunderbird Operation aims to prevent holiday tragedies: Memorial Day may be a little be safer for area lake-goers this weekend. The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with Oklahoma Park Rangers over the Memorial Day weekend to keep people safe during the high-volume holiday.

“Lake Thunderbird is a tremendous resource for area families, and we want the holiday to be safe for everyone,” Sheriff Todd Gibson said. “In partnership with the State Park Rangers and other area agencies, we will provide additional resources and deputies in the lake area.”

CCSO’s Impact Team comprised of full-time and reserve deputies will be on the watch for drivers and boaters who are under the influence.

“Memorial Day is about remembering those we’ve lost,” Gibson said. “It’s also the unofficial beginning of summer as families and friends celebrate the long weekend and the end of the school year. We want people to be able to recognize the holiday in a safe and responsible manner.”

Lake Thunderbird State Park has two marinas, nine boat ramps and two swim beaches. Accommodations include over 200 RV sites with 30 full hookup sites, restroom facilities and primitive campsites to total 447 campsites.

Thunderbird State Park Rangers will have life preservers available at the park office and hanging throughout the park free for use at Lake Thunderbird.

• Rain, flooding impact state parks: With the increase in rainfall and flooding over the last several weeks, Oklahomans are asked to be prepared and play it safe for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday.

Many Oklahoma State Parks are experiencing high water levels that have unfortunately resulted in closure of some state parks, campgrounds and boat ramps. When visiting a park near a lake or waterway, guests should stay aware of changing water levels.

Most state parks and facilities are open and ready to host visitors for this inaugural event of the summer season. If you are planning on camping or visiting a state park over the holiday, please check and make sure your favorite state park is not affected.

“We are doing everything possible to keep our facilities and campgrounds open, but it’s been a dynamic situation as both new rain and water level management are a constantly changing issue,” said Oklahoma Tourism Executive Director Jerry Winchester. “Please check our social media pages for the most up-to-date information.”

Information on the parks can be also be found on the agency website, TravelOK.com.

• City Offices close Monday: The City of Norman administrative offices will be closed on Monday in observance of Memorial Day. City parks and the Westwood Aquatics Center will remain open. Trash, yard waste and recycling collection services will not be affected.

Residents wishing to pay utility bills will be able to do so by phone at 405-366-5320 or online at normanok.gov/city/utility-pay-online.