- Associated Press - Monday, May 26, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana residents marked Memorial Day with patriotic fanfares, the planting of graveside flowers or just a day of enjoying the sunshine.

Veterans marched along streets in cities and small towns throughout the state and flags flew at half-mast in many places. In cemeteries and on courthouse lawns, veterans stood at attention and saluted flags. At Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Gov. Mike Pence spoke among the graves of more than 2,000 soldiers from every U.S. war.

Temperatures in the central part of the state were in the 80s, which encouraged people to break out their shorts and tank tops. For many, the holiday was simply a beautiful late spring day to take the baby out in the stroller, ride a bicycle, grill food or just sprawl out in the sun.

“I thought, you know, I’m gonna just hang out in the park for a while,” said Deborah Asen, who was reclining in University Park downtown with her bicycle nearby.

The 54-year-old interior designer from Indianapolis had spent her morning checking out a new Marsh supermarket downtown, where she had bought some sushi.



Asen said she doesn’t visit the cemetery on Memorial Day, but has her “own kind of meditation and remembering those who have passed.”

“What lies in the cemetery is just a bunch of dust,” she said.

For Linda Frische, however, visiting the graves of family members was the centerpiece of the holiday.

“My parents are both gone so we go to the cemetery, and just things like that,” said Frische, 57, who was walking her dog, Belle, near the Indiana War Memorial. “We leave this day open to remembering our past.”

The War Memorial was barricaded on one side, distressing some visitors who didn’t realize the entrance on the north side was open. Bleachers still lined downtown streets two days after the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade.

At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, hundreds of volunteers turned out to clean up the mess left behind by race fans Sunday. Trash bags laden with empty beer cans, bottles, food wrappers and other waste were scattered throughout the stands and infield.

Volunteer groups are rewarded for their hard work, though; some can earn as much as $3,000 for needed supplies and projects, depending on how much ground they cover, local TV stations said.

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Follow Charles D. Wilson on Twitter: https://twitter.com/_cdwilson .

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