CAMP RIPLEY -- Memorial Day will be observed Sunday at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery near Camp Ripley.
The Minneapolis-Richfield American Legion Post No. 435 concert band will perform an instrumental prelude at 1:30 p.m. The traditional Parade of Flags will open the formal program at 2 p.m.
The public is invited to attend and requested to bring lawn chairs for seating. A section for handicapped parking will be set aside for the program.
All organizations, posts and auxiliary units are invited to carry their colors in the parade, which will travel along the Avenue of Flags. Jay Beebe will serve as parade marshal. All participants should be at the cemetery by 1:15 p.m. Sunday and be ready to line up for the parade.
State Sen. Don Samuelson, DFL-Brainerd, will give the Memorial Day address. Placing of wreaths, ending with the Naval Wreath Ceremony during which a wreath is placed in the Mississippi River in memory of those who died at sea, will be featured. El Mrozek will serve as master of ceremonies.
Following the program, the Little Falls American Legion Auxiliary Unit will host a reception in the main building at the cemetery.
Last year about 1,400 people attended the program, said Mrozek. This year organizers expect more to attend. More than 1,000 burials have taken place in the short existence of the cemetery. Plans are to build an amphitheater in the next few years and then seating conditions for ceremonies will be improved.
Groups that wish to be seated as a unit need to reserve a section by calling John Mahling at (320) 632-9459. Individuals and/or groups may present wreaths during the program.
The program is sponsored by the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery Association.
The Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery is on Highway 115, off Highway 371, seven miles north of Little Falls.
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