By Kristen Miller
Several programs are planned in the area in honor of Memorial Day to pay tribute to and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation.
Kingston, Darwin, Cokato, and Dassel will each have programs Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. The Cokato Finnish-American Historical Society will have its Memorial Day celebration Saturday, May 25.
Cokato’s Memorial Day
The Memorial Day schedule in Cokato will begin at 7:30 a.m. with the Cokato Legion Post 209 rifle salute at the Cokato Finnish Cemetery.
At 8 a.m., the Raising of Colors will take place at Veterans Memorial Park.
The annual Memorial Day parade will begin at 10:15 a.m. from Cokato Elementary’s south side, and travel north on Broadway Avenue.
The parade ends at Cokato Elementary, with a Memorial Day program in the auditorium at 10:45 a.m.
A Memorial Day address will be presented by Rev. Danville Swanson, retired pastor of First Baptist Church in Cokato where he served for 22 years.
The Litchfield Area Male Chorus will perform as part of the Memorial Day observance.
Dassel’s Memorial Day
The Memorial Day observance will begin in Dassel with Dassel Legion Post 364 presenting at Lake Jennie Covenant Church Cemetery at 8 a.m.
The annual parade in Dassel will begin at 8:45 a.m., and lead into Dassel Community Cemetery for a program at 9 a.m. with Pastor John Peterson giving the invocation and benediction.
The address will be given by Brian Jensen, formerly from Dassel. Jensen is a retired serviceman who spent more than 20 years in the Army National Guard as a sergeant, and served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2004-2005.
Jensen was also a former Dassel police chief from 1998-2004. He currently resides in St. Cloud, and will address what’s most important in one’s life.
Refreshments will follow at the Dassel History Center. This will also be the location of the program in case of inclement weather.
Darwin’s Memorial Day
The 11th annual Darwin Lakes Area Memorial Day program will begin Monday, May 27 at 10:30 a.m. at Hantge Funeral Chapel.
An invocation will be given by Deacon John Hansen of St. John’s Catholic Church.
The keynote speaker will be Steve Johnson, a member of the Winthrop Sons of the American Legion, who will share stories of patriotism and courage.
He has served as captain of the Winthrop Ambulance for several years, served two terms as mayor of Winthrop, and has served as president of the chamber, and much more.
The program will also include a balloon release at 11 a.m., and refreshments following.
Kingston’s Memorial Day observance
Kingston’s Memorial Day program will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, May 27 at Veterans Memorial Park, located at the intersection of CSAH 27 and 19.
Mike Kingery of Grove City, a member of Cornerstone Church in Kingston, will be the featured speaker.
Refreshments will be served following the ceremony at the Kingston Community Center.
Cokato Finnish-American Historical Society
The Cokato Finnish-American Historical Society will host its annual Memorial Day celebration Saturday, May 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Temperance Corner, located three miles north of Cokato on County Road 3.
The honored veteran will be Paul Raisanen of Cokato, as presented by his daughter, Susan. Raisanen was drafted into the Army in 1950, and became part of the 40th Infantry Division to be trained in the maintenance and repair of radio equipment. He was discharged in 1952, after serving overseas in Japan and Korea.