By Kristen Miller
Several Memorial Day events are planned to honor America’s fallen heros.
Memorial Day in Cokato
Cokato will have its Memorial Day observance Monday, May 31 beginning with a rifle salute at the Lutheran Cemetery at 7:30 a.m., followed by the Raising of Colors at Veterans Park.
The parade will begin at 10:15 a.m. at Cokato Elementary, proceed down Broadway to Millard, and back to the school for a program in the auditorium.
The speaker this year will be Matt Lehto, of Cokato.
Lehto is a 1992 Dassel-Cokato High School graduate who joined the Marine Corp after high school.
He attended boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, CA before attending the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton.
Lehto recently returned from active duty in Iraq both during 2006 and 2009, where he worked in explosive ordinance disposal in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Memorial Day in Dassel
The Dassel Memorial Day program will be Monday, May 31, beginning with a parade at 8:45 a.m., and a program following in the Dassel Community Cemetery.
The program includes a flag-raising ceremony by the Paul F. Dille American Legion Post with the speaker to be announced.
The Dassel-Cokato High School band will perform a drum roll and the national anthem, directed by Brian Veith.
The American Legion firing squad will fire a salute, and students from the high school band will play taps.
Following the program, the Dassel Area Historical Society will serve coffee at the Universal Lab Building.
Memorial Day in Darwin
Darwin will host its ninth annual Darwin Lakes Area Memorial Day program beginning at 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 31 at the Hantge Funeral Chapel. This will include a service of remembrance and a balloon release.
The keynote speaker for the event will be Tim Sanken, a retired US Army colonel.
Sanken was born in Glencoe and graduated from Browntown High School in 1965. He then joined the Minnesota Army National Guard, and retired in 2001.
During that time, Sanken worked at 3M’s three locations in Hutchinson, New Ulm, and St. Paul. He retired in 2006, after 37 years.
Currently, Sanken volunteers for the National Marrow Donor Program and travels to Mongolia and Iraq to screen children for heart disease with “For Hearts and Souls.”
The balloon release and refreshments will follow the service.
Memorial Day in Kingston
Kingston will host a Memorial Day observance beginning 10 a.m. at the former Kingston Apostolic Lutheran Church cemetery located on the corner of Highway 15 and CSAH 27.
The speaker is to be announced.