Memorial Day Observances
Memorial Day was first known as Decoration Day, dedicated to honoring Union soldiers who died durinf 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 Monday, May 31, 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 Middle 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. Matt Ballman 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, and Col. Greg Hapgood.
Speaker: Col. Geg Hapgood, a native of Marion, IA, enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard in January 1986, with Company A, 234th Signal Battalion in Cedar Rapids. He graduated form Army Basic and Advanced Individual Training, Officer Candidate School, Signal Officer Basic and Advanced Coruses, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and Command and General Staff College. He previously deployed for Operation Joint Endeavor (1996-97) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2009-10). Hapgood received Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Iowa in English and Communications, and a Juris Doctor from the Creighton University School of Law, He practiced law in Des Moines until his selection as the Iowa National Guasrd Public Affairs Officer in November 2003.
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. The Memorial Day speech has been written by Captain Jordan Thornburg.
Address: “Although Captain Thornburg can’t be here to deliver the address because he is serving in Kuwait, we very much appreciate him taking the time to put some thoughts on paper for the rest of us to think about and remember,” said Allen Stangl, American Legion Commander. “As commander of the Ayrshire Legion post, I always appreciate when we have an active duty military step forward and remind us how fortunate we are in America and how much we owe our men and women serving our country.”
Captain Thornburg is the son of Dennis Thornburg and son-in-law of Ed and Marilyn Noonan of Ayrshire. He is a graduate of Iowa State University and a graduate of the Engineer Officer Basic Course, Medical Service Corps Advanced Course, Ranger, Airborne, and Air Assault School. Jordan deployed to Iraq with 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division in October 2007 leading a Sapper Engineer platoon to conduct IED route clearance from Baghdad to Al-Mahmudiyah including the area named the “Triangle of Death,” a staging are for the insurgency. Jordan received the Combat Action Badge and Bronze Star for actions in Iraq. Jordan is currently deployed to Kuwait with 1st Infantry Division assisting with the “Responsible Drawdown” of Iraq.
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 31. Services at North St. John Cemetery will be held at 10 a.m. Services at South 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 31. The service begins at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Charles Gilbert officiating. A luncheon, provided by the Cemetery Association, will be served in the church basement following the service.
MALLARD – Members of American Legion Post #345 and Legion Auxiliary members will host Memorial Day services at three cemeteries Monday, May 31. John Tomkins will be speaker. A gun salute and Taps, will be held at each cemetery.
Service at Ellington Cemetery is at 9:15 a.m., St. Mary’s Cemetery at 9:30 a.m., and 10 a.m. at Rush Lake Cemetery. In case of inclement weather, Memorial Day service will be held at the Mallard Community Center.
RODMAN – Memorial Day program at the Rodman Cemetery begins at 8:45 a.m., conducted by members of Seely-Walsh Post #425.
Members of the Post will Advance 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 invocation. Music will be played by the Ruthven-Ayrshire Band, under the direction of Tim Nielsen, and the Ruthven-Ayshire Chorus, under the direction of Luke Miller. The Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Cub Scout Troop #25.
Address: Iowa Army National Guard State Command Sergeant Major Louis E. Wolfgram will offer the Memorial Day Address. A native of Sumner, he enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard in October 1977 and joined the 34th Brigade, Headquarters, 47th Infantry Division in Boone.
Wolfgram has graduated from the Basic Non-Commissioned Officer course, the Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer course, Senior Non-Commissioned Officer course, First Sergeant’s course, Sergeants Major course, Battle Skills course, and Instructor Training course. He served in the Republic of Vietnam from July 1970 to February 1972 with the U.S. Army.
Wolfgram received a Bachelors Degree in Business from Davenport’s Marycrest College. He currently works as the Warehouse Supervisor, United States Property and Fiscal Officer for Iowa, and currently serves as the Iowa Army National Guard State Command Sergeant Major.
Services will resume at Crown Hill Cemetery at 10:45 a.m. Marie Nelson will read In Flanders Field; and, Post Chaplain Roger Maize will offer a prayer.
Presentation and dedication of flags of veterans who will join the Avenue of Flags: Ladean Roland, Peacetime; Berl Goff, World War II; Fabian Halder, World War II; Thomas Barber, World War II; and Howard Johnson, World War II.
Remembrances will be at the Grave of Unknown Soldier, World War I, World War II, Korean and Vietnam. Taps will be played. Buglers for Memorial Day are Nathan Meyer and Damon Morris.
The Post will assemble at Calvary Cemetery, Highland Township Cemetery and Lost Island Township Cemetery, where the flag will be raised, a prayer will be offered, and Taps will be played.
WEST BEND – The Memorial Day parade will leave from the West Bend-Mallard baseball field at 9:45 a.m. Officer of the Day is Donald Banwart,a member of West Bend American Legion.
At the cemetery, the program will begin at 10 a.m. with Deacon Steve Struecker, L.C.M.S., offering the invocation. Colton an Dylan Zaugg will sing the National Anthem. Amanda Montag will offer a reading. A Gopld Star Tribute will be offered by Donald Banwart.
Harold Montag will read the names of veterans honored in the Parade of Flags. Pat Montag, American Legion Auxiliary member, will place the wreath on the memorial. Fly-over is courtesy of Elmer Steier.
In case of inclement weather, the program will be held in the school gym.
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 with proceeds going toward scholarship of high school graduates.