Memorial Day was first known as Decoration Day, dedicated to honoring Union soldiers who died during the Civil War. The day now honors all men and women who died while in military service. The name Memorial Day was first used in 1882 and the day became a federal holiday in 1971.
EMMETSBURG -- Memorial Day services will be held Monday, May 26, coordinated by members of V.F.W. Post #2295. Organizations will gather at the First United Methodist Church on North Broadway at 9 a.m.
The Memorial Day Parade will begin at 9:15 a.m. Chuck Roberts, Officer of the Day, will lead the Colors and Color Guard, Firing Squad and Emmetsburg High School Band to the shore of Five Island Lake. At the lake, deceased sailor will be remembered. Members of V.F.W. Auxiliary will conduct a service at the Memorial Monument in honor of veterans who gave their lives in World War I. The band will play Anchors Away and America the Beautiful.
The Memorial Day service will continue at Evergreen Cemetery at the monument erected in memory of veterans of all wars sleeping in unknown graves. Officer of the Day Chuck Roberts and Commander Terry Chamberlain will lead the ceremony.
Pastor Judy DePue will offer a prayer. Emmetsburg Police Department Sergeant Darrin Adams will read John A. Logan's order of the day for the first Memorial Day in 1868. Emmetsburg Boy Scout Tom Crocoll will recite Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
Memorial tributes will be placed at crosses representing fallen heroes of the Revolutionary War, the Mexican War, the Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, the war in Vietnam and the Persian Gulf. Veterans will also be remembered who gave their lives in Panama, Grenada, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo. A floral wreath will be placed at the monument of Veterans of all Wars who are resting in Graves Unknown. Taps will be played.
Memorial Day speakers include Pastor Judy DePue and Command Sergeant Major Chris Myers (Ret.).
Myers is prior Command Sergeant Major of the 1st of the 168th Infantry "Red Bulls". During his 24 years in the Iowa Army National Guard he served in Afghanistan as the Operations Sergeant Major for Task Force 168 and oversaw the operations of Force protection of 14 Provincial Re-constructional Teams and their Civil Affairs Assets spread throughout Afghanistan.
Myers currently works for the Graettinger-Terril Community School District as the Elementary Principal and Shared Curriculum Director with Graettinger-Terril and Ruthven-Ayrshire. In 2006, CSLM Myers received the National Distinguished Principal of the Year award representing Iowa in Washington, D.C.
Chris and Kate Myers live in Graettinger.
The program concludes with the band playing the National Anthem. Aaron Phillips is band director.
V.F.W. and Auxiliary members will host a reception at the Post Home. The public is invited to attend.
In case of inclement weather, Memorial Day ceremonies will be held at V.F.W. Post #2295, Highway 4/18 West, Emmetsburg, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
AYRSHIRE -- Memorial Day services are at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Silver Lake Cemetery. The Memorial Day speech will be delivered by Ayrshire American Legion Commander Allen Stangl. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force with service during the Vietnam era.
Members of Ayrshire Legion Post #173 will serve coffee and rolls at the Ayrshire Community Center following services at the cemetery.
In case of rain, events will be held at the Community Center.
DEPEW -- St. John's Lutheran Church, Depew, will hold Memorial Day services on Monday, May 27. Services will be held at North St. John Lutheran Cemetery at 10 a.m and at South St. John Lutheran Cemetery at 10:30 a.m.
GRAETTINGER -- St. Paul's Cemetery Association will hold their annual Memorial Day services at the South Walnut Church in rural Graettinger on Monday, May 26, at 11 a.m. Pastor Peter Morlok will officiate the services. A luncheon will follow in the church basement.
RODMAN -- Memorial Day program at the Rodman Cemetery begins at 8:45 a.m. Monday, conducted by members of Seely-Walsh Post #425. The Post Commander will remember POWs and MIAs and offer the Memorial Day Address. Post Adjutant will read the Honor Roll of the Dead and a Memorial Wreath will be placed. Fly-over is courtesy of Elmer Steier in the World War II Bamboo Bomber.
WEST BEND -- Memorial Services will begin at 10 am. at the West Bend Cemetery. The invocation will be given by Vicar Steve Struecker and the Redemption Singers will sing the National Anthem.
Speaker and Gold Star Tribute will be given by Sen. Daryl Beall, Iowa Senate District 5. Names of deceased veterans in the Parade of Flags will be read by Tom Mader and a Memorial Wreath will be placed. Fly-over courtesy of Elmer Steier in the World War II Bamboo Bomber.
In case of inclement weather, the program will be held in the school gymnasium.