The war on Iraq has been a reminder for area residents of the many war veterans who have fought and died for their country. Memorial Day on Monday is a time to reflect and to remember those lives lost in previous wars and conflicts, as well as honor those war veterans who made it home.
Memorial Day ceremonies are scheduled Sunday and Monday throughout the Brainerd lakes area.
Brainerd area residents will observe Memorial Day on Monday, beginning with an 8:30 a.m. ceremony at the Laurel Street bridge and other events that include a parade.
The Laurel Street bridge ceremony will begin with the tossing of a wreath into the Mississippi River in memory of those veterans lost at sea. The ceremony will include a prayer by a chaplain, the firing of a rifle salute and the playing of "Taps."
After a short march to the All Veterans Memorial next to the Crow Wing County Courthouse, a wreath will be placed in honor of all veterans. A prayer will be said and "Taps" will be played.
In honor of the veterans of the Bataan Death March, a brief ceremony will be held at the Bataan Memorial next to the National Guard Armory on Wright Street. It will involve the placing of a wreath by veterans of the Bataan Death March and a prayer by the chaplain.
The Memorial Day parade will begin 10 a.m. Monday at the Franklin Junior High School parking lot, weather permitting. The parade will proceed east on Washington Street to Third Avenue Northeast and then north to Evergreen Cemetery where the final Memorial Day program will be conducted.
In the event of adverse weather, the parade will be canceled and the alternate site for additional ceremonies will be the Franklin Junior High School auditorium.
The ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery will include music by the Brainerd High School band, directed by Paul Melby. Master of ceremonies will be Gaylord Zelinske. Pastor David Holte will give the invocation. The flag will be raised accompanied by music from the band, which also will play the national anthem. Posting of the colors will be provided by color guards from area veterans' organizations.
Wreath placements will be provided by representatives of auxiliary units of veterans' organizations from the American Legion, Daughters of American Revolution, Disabled American Veterans, Marine Corps League, Military Order of Purple Heart and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Representatives of the cities of Brainerd and Baxter and from Crow Wing County will provide greetings. The American Legion will provide the Gettysburg Address. Jeff Olson, commissioner of Veterans Affairs, will give the Memorial Day address. The Brainerd High School buglers will play "Taps."
Here's a look at what area communities have planned for Memorial Day:
The annual Memorial Day service, previously held at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, will be observed 2 p.m. Sunday at the Camp Ripley Recreation Center. An instrumental prelude by the Minneapolis-Richfield American Legion Post No. 435 concert band will begin at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. The traditional Parade of Flags will open the formal program at 2 p.m. Sunday.
All veterans organizations, posts and auxiliary units are invited to carry their colors in the parade. Jim Deyo is the parade marshal. All participants should be at the Camp Ripley Recreation Center by 1:15 p.m. Sunday and ready to line up for the parade.
Former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson will give the Memorial Day service address.
The placing of wreaths, ending with the naval wreath ceremony during which a wreath is placed in memory of those who died at sea, will be featured during the program. Individuals and/or groups may present wreaths during the program.
Following the program, the Little Falls American Legion Auxiliary will host a reception in the recreation center. A section for handicapped parking will be available.
The program is sponsored by the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery Association, located on Highway 115 off Highway 371, seven miles north of Little Falls. Because the cemetery is in the final stages of improvements, this Memorial Day service has been moved the short distance west to Camp Ripley.
Crosslake Lutheran Church will host a community observance of Memorial Day at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Outdoor Worship Center on Daggett Pine Road in Crosslake, across from the Crosslake Community Center.
Former state Sen. Roger D. Moe will be the guest speaker. Moe also will speak at the 8:30 a.m. Sunday worship service at Crosslake Lutheran Church on Route 66 in downtown Crosslake.
The Memorial Day celebration will feature music from the church choir, buglers playing "Taps" and an aerial flyover by members of the congregation who are members of the Brainerd Civil Air Patrol. Veterans from World War II through the present time will be honored.
People may stay in their cars and listen to the service over the radio or sit outside on benches and chairs that are provided at the 10 a.m. Sunday service.
Moe was elected to the Minnesota Legislature in 1970 from Minnesota's Second Senate District and became the longest-serving Senate majority leader in the state's history. He ran for governor in 2002. He is president of his consulting company, National Strategies Inc., and a partner of Tower Solutions Inc. Moe serves on the boards of directors for the Norwegian American Foundation and the Policy Consensus Initiative. He and his wife, Paulette, live in rural Erskine.
American Legion Post No. 202 in Hackensack will host Memorial Day services Monday with a march beginning at 9:30 a.m. from the Legion to the Sons of the American Legion Memorial across from the post office. A small ceremony will be held by the American Legion and Auxiliary with prayers said by the S.A.L. chaplain. "Taps" will be played and the firing squad will be present. The march will resume about one block to Little Boy River and a wreath will be placed on the water for all veterans lost at sea. Veterans also will be honored at 10 a.m. at Hillcrest Cemetery. In case of inclement weather, all ceremonies will be held in the Hackensack Legion starting at 10 a.m. Monday.
A Memorial Day program will be 2:30 p.m. Monday at the Poplar Cemetery followed by lunch in the Leader Community Hall.
Tri-County American Legion Post No. 124 in Motley will host Memorial Day services Monday, which includes the dedication of a Veterans' Memorial.
A ceremony will be 10 a.m. Monday in the Staples-Motley Elementary School auditorium in Motley, followed by graveside services at 11 a.m. in Evergreen Cemetery in Motley. The Veterans' Memorial dedication will start at 12:30 p.m. More than 230 veterans have been memorialized with stones placed at the monument.
Nisswa area residents are invited to attend a Memorial Day Remembrance ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday at the Nisswa American Legion. Guest speakers include American Legion Minnesota Department Vice Commander Jay Beebe and former Sen. Don Samuelson. John Collins of KLKS Radio will serve as master of ceremonies. Nisswa elementary students also will participate in the ceremony.
The ceremony will begin by recognizing all families with family members currently serving in the military. The ceremony also will include a military flyby of the 148th Fighter Wing based in Duluth.
"The ceremony will not only honor those who have died, but also those who live and continue to fight for the freedom of this great nation," said Post Commander Gene Katz.
Memorial Day services will be conducted Monday in Pequot Lakes by the American Legion Post No. 49 and VFW Post No. 3839. David Swantek, director of the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery located seven miles north of Little Falls, will serve as guest speaker at the 10 a.m. Monday ceremony in the Pequot Lakes High School auditorium.
Robert Draving, commander of the VFW Post No. 3839, and Tom Anderson, commander of the Legion Post No. 49, will welcome those who attend. Color guards from both organizations will participate along with the Men's Chorus, auxiliary presidents and chaplains. Girls' State and Boys' State participants will read patriotic selections. Gold Star parents will be recognized.
After the ceremony, Chaplain Dean Bacher will officiate at a brief ceremony at the Pequot Lakes cemetery and at Sibley Lake.
Lunch will be served at the Pequot Lakes American Legion.
American Legion and Auxiliary members of Post No. 341 in Pierz will conduct Memorial Day services in the Pierz cemetery after a 9 a.m. Mass at St. Joseph's Church Monday.
Memorial Day services will be 10 a.m. Monday in the Pillager School followed by ceremonies in the Wildwood Cemetery and the Gull River Cemetery.
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