By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN The weather may have prevented Dassel’s Memorial Day program from taking place at the cemetery this year, but it didn’t stop people from coming out to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Since the Dassel Community Cemetery was too wet from the overnight rainfall, the annual Memorial Day program was taken indoors to the Dassel History Center’s Community Room May 30.
An invocation was given by Pastor Joe Midthun of All Saints Lutheran Church in Darwin.
The keynote speaker was US Army Reservist Nicholas Dille, son of former state senator Steve Dille and grandson of Rolland Dille, both of whom have spoken at past Memorial Day programs, he noted.
Dille spoke of past wars, mentioning the many veterans who served in those wars are no longer among the living to tell their story.
He noted the last surviving World War I veteran, Frank Woodruff Buckles passed away at age 110 in February of this year.
Dille wanted to speak about what has been known as the “forgotten war,” the Korean War, which took place from 1950 to 1955.
During that time 6.8 million Americans served, with 54,200 deaths in service during the three years of hostility (June 27, 1950 to July 27, 1953), and 33,700 of those died in actual battle. He also noted the thousands of prisoners of war that were exchanged, as well.
Seven of those soldiers were from Meeker County, Dille said, naming off each.
“I had the privilege to serve in South Korea for two years,” Dille said.
Since the conflict was between South Korea, a democratic nation, and communist-run North Korea, without the Korean War and the US support, there would have been even more lives lost, Dille explained.
In closing, Dille told those in attendance to “Always remember and respect those who have served . . . not only today, on Memorial Day, but every day. God Bless America.”
For the benediction, Midthun read Psalm 27 “The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?
“When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies who will stumble and fall.
“Though the army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.”