By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MONTROSE, MAPLE PLAIN, LORETTO, ROCKFORD, MN Local Memorial Day observances have been set, with communities featuring special speakers, parades, and observances.
The Delano American Legion Family is planning its annual Memorial Day observance Monday, May 31.
Parade units will assemble at the Delano American Legion Post by 10:15 a.m.
As in past years, the parade will start at 10:30 a.m., stop at the downtown river bridge for a brief ceremony, and then march down River Street to the gazebo at the city park for a program to honor our veterans, featuring Master Sergeant Roger Rands as the guest speaker, according to Delano American Legion Commander Jack Lynch.
With a goal of “living a long, simple life,” Rands entered the service Aug. 18, 1986, and began his current tour Oct. 15, 2007. He obtained the rank of master sergeant in the US Marine Corps Sept. 1, 2009.
Presently assigned to the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center as the patient affairs team staff noncommissioned officer in charge, he previously has served in Rochester, NY, Camp Pendleton, Calif., and other assignments in Minneapolis.
Rands’ operational deployments include: October-November 1987 Valiant Blitz, South Korea; 1987-1988 2/5 Unit Deployment Program, Okinawa, Japan; 1989-1990 2/5 Unit Deployment Program, Okinawa, Japan; January-July 2002 MWSS 471 activation to New River, Deployed OIF 1 as Augment to CSSG-16; March October 2003 OEF Afghanistan, Augment to HMLA 773.
Rands is married to Pamela and has two daughters, Kristina and Courtney. He is a 1986 graduate of Rush City High School. He enjoys coaching Community Education sports, fishing, and hunting.
Following the program at the city park, all in attendance are invited to the American Legion Post for a free lunch.
June meetings will follow the lunch for all Delano American Legion family members.
Wright County VFW Post 1901 and Ladies Auxiliary will again sponsor a Memorial Day service Monday, May 31.
There will be a short parade at 10 a.m., beginning at Montrose Elementary School and finishing at Lions Park. Any military people, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, etc. who would like to join in the parade are asked to assemble at the Montrose Elementary School at 9:45 a.m.
The parade will then be followed by a program at Lions Park featuring Kale Danberg of Brooklyn Park, who is a Marine Corps veteran who served in Korea during the war.
Danberg has been married to JoAnn Gehlen-Gierke (originally from Hutchinson) for 20 years, and has three children, six stepchildren, and three grandchildren.
Danberg, who was president of Mattson Building Company of Cokato, now spends his time speaking and editing newsletters the major one being “Always Faithful,” which is read in 48 states and five foreign countries.
Danberg is known in the speaking field as “Mr. Enthusiasm.” He has served on former Governor Quie’s power plant siting commission, and has chaired the Wright County Economic Development Commission and the Cokato Planning and Zoning Commission.
He has also served as president of the Cokato Development Corporation, the Cokato Industrial Commission, and the Cokato Business Association.
In the event of rain, the program will be moved to the Montrose Community Center.
Anyone in the area who would like to have their deceased veteran remembered by having a cross decorated in their honor should call Rosemary Schultz at (763) 675-3414.
Past Minnesota State Commander of the American Legion Harlan Buck will be Post 514’s guest speaker at Memorial Day services Monday, May 31 at Lewis Cemetery at 10:30 a.m.
Lewis Cemetery is located one mile west of Maple Plain on Highway 12 and Hennepin County Road 90.
Special music will be provided by the Orono High School band. Also participating will be Pastor David Garwick of Christ Lutheran Church in Maple Plain, and soloist Robin Haugen.
Post 514 Legion Honor Guard/Firing Squad will also salute the departed comrades at Oakland (Lyndale) Cemetery at 8:45 a.m., Christ Lutheran Cemetery at 9:15 a.m., and at the Loretto Catholic Cemetery at 9:45 a.m., according to Commander Gary McPherson.
The public is welcome to attend any or all of these services honoring all persons who have served our country in military services. In the event of rain, the service will be at Christ Lutheran Church in Maple Plain.
Due to Highway 12 construction, access to Lewis Cemetery will be from Hennepin County Road 83 and proceeding west on West Main Street one mile to the cemetery. All cemetery roads from Hennepin County Road 90 are barricaded.
In Rockford, a parade will take place at 10 a.m., beginning at the Rockford Middle School, with Navy services at the Crow River and Memorial services at the Elmwood Cemetery.
In case of rain, services will be in the Rockford High School gymnasium.
The Rockford Lions will serve a pork chop dinner starting at 11 a.m. in the Riverside Park-Lions Building.
A pie and ice cream social will be at the Ames-Florida-Stork House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (see related article).
For more information, contact Lion Eric Lloyd at (763) 477-5045.