Memorial Day comes a little early for the employees of Astria Regional Medical Center.  Their seventh annual Memorial Day Celebration and Flag Dedication Ceremony will take place Thursday, May 24 at 12:15 p.m. in the front entrance of the hospital.

Hospital officials say it's the way they choose to honor the brave men and women, including family, friends and co-workers who have scarified so much in their service to defend America.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 379, Color Guard will retire the current colors flying in front of the hospital and present the flag to a hospital employee who is a retired US Marine veteran. The Color Guard will then raise the new colors and  lower them to half-staff in honor of Memorial Day -- followed by a rifle salute, playing of "Taps" and a moment of silence for those veterans lost.