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Memorial Day Observances

By Staff | May 21, 2009

Memorial Day was first observed May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers. General John A. Logan, commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, is remembered for issuing orders that Decoration Day be observed every year in May to honor the Civil War veterans.

EMMETSBURG – Memorial Day services will be Monday, May 25, 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. Phil Stillman, 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 sailors 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 Phil Stillman and V.F.W. Post Commander Ronald Hersom will lead the ceremony.

The Rev. Steve Ellerbusch, pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, will offer a prayer. Todd Suhr will read John A. Logan’s order of the day for the first Memorial Day in 1868. Wesley Luna-Smith 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 also 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 Ellerbusch, State Representative Marcella Frevert, and Major Michael Wunn. Major Wunn is Public Affairs Officer, MNB(E) and Commander, MPAD Falcon. The program will conclude with the band playing the National Anthem.

V.F.W. and Auxiliary members will host a reception at the Post Home. The public is invited.

In case of inclement weather, ceremonies will be held at V.F.W. Post #2295 at 9:30 a.m.

AYRSHIRE – Memorial Day services are at 10:30 a.m. at Silver Lake Cemetery. Guest speaker is David Loomis, a native of Ayrshire.

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, all events will be held at the Community Center.

DEPEW – Members of St. John Lutheran Church, Depew, will host Memorial Day services Monday, May 25. Services at South St. John Cemetery will be held at 10 a.m. Services at North St. John Cemetery will be held at 10:30 a.m.

GRAETTINGER – St. Paul’s Cemetery Association will hold its annual Memorial Day Service at South Walnut Church, rural Graettinger, on Monday, May 25. The service begins at 11 a.m. with Pastor Luther Thoresen officiating. A luncheon, provided by the Cemetery Association, will be served in the church basement following the service.

Memorial Day service begins at 10 a.m. at Fahnstock Park in Graettinger, according to Kevin Hansen, Commander of Nelson-Christensen Post #162, Graettinger.

MALLARD – Members of American Legion Post #345 and Legion Auxiliary members will host Memorial Day services at three cemeteries Monday, May 25. A short service and speaker, followed by a gun salute and Taps, will be held at each cemetery.

Service at Ellington Cemetery is at 9:10 a.m., St. Mary’s Cemetery at 9:30 a.m., and 10 a.m. at Rush Lake Cemetery.

RODMAN – Memorial Day program at the Rodman Cemetery begins at 8:30 a.m., conducted by members of Seely-Walsh Post #425.

Members of the Post will present Avenue of the Colors. The Post Commander will remember POWs and MIAs and offer the Memorial Day Address. Post Adjutant will read the Honor Roll of the Dead. The Post Chaplain will lead the Memorial Day Prayer. An official from the City of Rodman will place the Memorial Wreath. Fly-over is courtesy of Elmer Steier.

RUTHVEN – Cliff Christensen, Commander of American Legion Post #33, will serve as Master of Ceremonies for Memorial Day services in Ruthven. Wayne Ingram, Sergeant at Arms, will serve as Officer of the Day.

The service will begin at 9:40 a.m. at the Legion Hall in Ruthven. Roger Maize will offer the address.

Services will resume at Crown Hill Cemetery. Marie Nelson will read In Flanders Field; Post Chaplain Roger Maize will offer a prayer; and, Lenora Kropf will dedicate the bugle.

Presentation and dedication of flags of veterans who will join the Avenue of Flags: Todd Simington, Persian Gulf; Robert Hanna, WW II; Robert Lee, Vietnam; Russell Sampson, WW II; Ron Williamson, Vietnam; Bruce Ruehle, WW II; Fred Riebersehl, Korea; Wayne Opoien, WW II; Bernard Miller, WW II.

Remembrances will be at the Grave of Unknown Soldier, World War I, World War II, Korean and Vietnam. Buglers for the day are Nathan Meyer and Brad Geelan.

The Post will assemble at Calvary Cemetery, Highland Township Cemetery and Lost Island Township Cemetery.

WEST BEND – The Memorial Day parade will leave from the school house at 9:45 a.m. Sergeant of Arms is Harold Montag and Officer of the Day is Donald Banwart, members of West Bend American Legion.

At the cemetery, the program will begin at 10 a.m. with Father Thomas Hart offering the invocation. John Banwart will sing the National Anthem. Memorial Day speaker is State Representative Dolores Mertz.

Harold Montag will read the names of veterans honored in the Parade of Flags. Pat Montag and Amanda Montag, American Legion Auxiliary members, will place the wreath on the memorial. Fly-over is courtesy of Elmer Steier.

In case of rain, the program will be at the school.

Memorial Day Benefit Breakfast is at the Community Center. Jay’s Omelets will be served from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. A free will offering will be accepted. Proceeds are for high school scholarships.