Monday, June 1, 2020
Higher Ground Offers Ways to Keep Memorial Day on Radar
Get your flag at the Veterans Memorial at the old Blaine County Courthouse.
Thursday, May 21, 2020


Though Memorial Day celebrations have been cancelled, Higher Ground Sun Valley doesn’t want Wood River Valley residents to forget the veterans and others the holiday honors.

The organization, which offers therapeutic recreation camps to wounded warriors, is putting out 350 six-by-nine-inch flags at the Blaine County Veterans Memorial by the old County Courthouse in Hailey at 3 p.m. Friday afternoon. They will also be available at the Hailey Cemetery.

Residents are invited to help themselves to a flag, carry it to the top of a mountain over the weekend, strap it to their bicycle as they make weekend rounds, wave it as they walk to the ice cream store or place it in the Ketchum and Hailey cemeteries.

The Hailey Cemetery will be decorated from dusk Friday to dusk Monday with 420 American flags and carnations placed on known veterans’ gravesites.

“It’s a wonderful important holiday and this is a way to pay tribute to local heroes,” said Erin Rheinschild, of Higher Ground. “If all 360 flags are gone, we’ll know that 360 people took part in honoring members of our armed services.”

Higher Ground Sun Valley is also placing placards for its annual “Who Are You Carrying?” challenge. While there will be no in-person challenge this year, people are invited to don a pack and take a walk, thinking about someone who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country.

Carry the Load, which Higher Ground has partnered with for five years, was started by two Navy SEALS in 2011 to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day.

This year it is offering the opportunity to take part in virtual relay teams at with any donations made locally going to Higher Ground. People are also encouraged to share the story of an armed services member or first responder at

There’s a Memorial Day Drive-Thru in Dallas. And a virtual relay started April 23, traveling 15,500 miles throughout the United States. Those who click on a flag in the website map can learn about the heroes of the day.

To join Rheinschild’s team, go to


Higher Ground cancelled July’s Hero’s Journey fundraiser, which brings in $1 million for the organization. But organizers were able to reschedule keynote speaker former U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis to 2021.

The organization has been conducted military webinars, video workouts and chats. And it hopes to hold a family camp at Petit Lake in July followed by a mountain bike camp and whitewater rafting in August.

A fly-fishing camp may also be held if all goes well.

“The tricky part is getting veterans on an airplane to travel here,” said Rheinschild.





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