Herald and Journal, June 4, 2001

Memorial Day observed locally

Howard Lake and Waverly

Unusually nice weather for Memorial Day - in the form of cheerful sunshine - marked American Legion ceremonies at Waverly and Howard Lake.

Large crowds attended both services, which were serenaded by selections from the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted school band and attended by local cub scouts from Pack 494.

The Waverly service featured a parade, cannon fire, and a speech from Wright County Attorney Tom Kelly.

Kelly's father, James, was one of five brothers who served in WorldWar II, he said.

The brothers served in North Africa, Singapore, France (in the Normandy invasion), in the North Sea and in the South Pacific.

As a non-veteran himself, Kelly emphasized the need for the ever-growing non-veteran population to stop and consider the sacrifice made by veterans.

"There are fewer to carry the torch," Kelly said, referring to veterans.

As a prosecutor, he enforces the law and is mindful that choices have consequences, he said.

To live in a country such as the USA, where freedom abounds, makes it easy to forget how the freedoms were earned, he said.

"Many a soldier has died to allow me to pursue my livelihood," he said. To enjoy all the rights and freedoms in the United States takes only two things - paying taxes and be a law-abiding citizen, Kelly said.

Freedom was also addressed by Howard Lake Commander Jerry Pettit, who spoke at the Howard Lake service.

"It's easy to forget why we are a free people," Pettit said.

He reported the number of casualties of each war in the past 60 years.

Pettit noted that this was the first Memorial Day of the 21st Century.

The Sons of the American Legion from Howard Lake is currently offering replacement flags for a nominal fee to replace faded, torn, or soiled flags. Those interested may call (543) 543-2554.


Winsted

Under sunny skies, a crowd gathered at Holy Trinity cemetery in Winsted, on Memorial Day, to remember those who died serving their country.

Members of the Martin Krueger American Legion Post 407 lead the other participants in the ceremony.

Serving in his traditional role of master of ceremonies was Luke Otto, Post 407 Americanism chairman.

"We hear them murmur from the grave, do not forget us, do not forget us," said Otto in his opening speech.

"We gave you our tomorrows, so that you could have your todays," Otto said of the fallen soldiers.

Winsted Mayor Don Guggemos welcomed everyone to the ceremony.

"Thank you for helping us commemorate this observance of Memorial Day. Remember Winsted, come back and join with us again," said Guggemos.

Special guest speaker this year, giving the Memorial Day Address, was the Honorable Mark Kennedy, Minnesota 2nd District, United States Congress.

"I once heard that the most important word in the English language is 'remember'," said Kennedy.

Kennedy challenged the audience to remember the debt and obligation of those who died, to take every chance possible to thank a veteran, and to help our children and grandchildren to remember the dead.

"We literally speak for those who cannot speak," said Kennedy.

"They paid the ultimate price, and deserve the ultimate honor," concluded Kennedy.

Other participants included the Holy Trinity band, Chaplain Gordon Kubasch, and Lauren Eggert, who sang the national anthem.

Dick Genty, past commander of Post 407, read the Gettysburg Address. The Legion also honored the Gold Star Mother.

Bill Wemhoff read the roll call of the deceased veterans, and the Legion Auxiliary decorated the graves with red carnations.

Legion Commander Dale Lachermeier placed a wreath on the war memorial.

The Boy Scouts handed out Memorial Day programs and also information about the McLeod County Veterans Park, complete with a veterans walking path of honor.

Members of the Winsted Fire Department were present, marching behind the color guard, in the march to and from the cemetery.

The traditional firing squad salute by the Legion squad and playing of taps by Jeff Campbell were also part of the ceremony.


Lester Prairie

The procession of the parade from city hall to the Lester Prairie cemetery, was lead by the color guard and firing squad members of the Ray Kirkpatrick American Legion Post 463.

The Lester Prairie High School band participated in the parade, as did a couple of youth on inline skates.

The Lester Prairie Fire Department had members marching, and finished the parade line-up with its rescue vehicle.

Commander Douglas Dibb welcomed those gathered at the cemetery.

The Rev. Grant Bode gave the invocation, and called for 30 seconds of silence to remember the dead.

Giving the key speak was attorney Donald Walser, City of Hutchinson.

Roll call of the deceased was read by Legion Post 463 Adjutant Ed Mlynar.

The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 463 gave a floral tribute to the fallen.

Other participants were Katie Fiecke (Girls State representative), reading General Logan's Orders, and JaNaye Hoof, reading the Gettysburg Address.


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