By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MAPLE PLAIN/LORETTO, ROCKFORD, MONTROSE, MN A number of programs are scheduled locally for Memorial Day Monday, May 26 to honor those who serve.
A parade beginning at the Delano American Legion and concluding at Central Park will kick off Delano’s Memorial Day observance.
Parade lineup will be at 10:15 a.m., according to Delano American Legion Post 377 Commander John Sweet. The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. and a brief program will take place on the Bridge Avenue bridge. It will proceed north on River Street to the Central Park gazebo.
The guest speaker at Delano’s Memorial Day observance will be Jimmy Collier, who is the Metro regional director for the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV).
Collier’s responsibilities are to oversee programming, outreach, and case management for veterans in crisis in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and 11 metro-area counties.
Program oversight includes 10 transitional houses for homeless veterans, oversight of all clients’ case management, development of new programs, and enhancements to current programs, and educating the greater community about the services provided by MACV. It also provides needed resources to the veterans served through resources and support.
Prior to working with MACV, Jimmy was a benefits enrollment specialist with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, and he also worked for the Minnesota Department of Economic Security, providing workforce consulting services for the Minnesota WorkForce Center relating to veterans and rehabilitation services under Chapter 31.
Collier assisted with the development of jobs and job training opportunities for veterans working with area employers. He has more than 20 years of military service with top secret clearance (US Army retired, honorable).
The program will also include several musical selections from the Delano High School Band and the reading of veterans’ names by Erik Vander Linden, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.
A lunch will be served at the Legion immediately following the program.
“We will be asking for a free will donation at the lunch after the program, with proceeds to go to MACV,” Sweet said.
The 2014 Memorial Day service will be Monday, May 26 at Lewis Cemetery at 10:30 a.m.
The guest speaker will be Colonel Maureen Banavige, USAF, according to Commander Gary McPherson.
Banavige is the mobilization assistant to the commander, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Tinker Air Force Base, OK. She serves a 9,500 personnel team.
Additionally, she is responsible for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of a myriad of Air Force and Navy airborne accessory components, and the development and sustainment of a diverse portfolio of mission critical software.
Banavige was commissioned in 1991 through the Air Force ROTC program at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA. She served on active duty in various logistics roles at the field and program office levels, overseas and stateside, before she joined the Air Force Reserve in 1996.
Special music will be provided by the Orono High School Band and Connie Dussl. Lewis Cemetery is located one mile west of Maple Plain on Highway 12 at Hennepin County Road 90.
The Paul Stinson Post 514 Legion Honor Guard/Firing squad will also salute our departed comrades with the reading of the roll call at Oakland Cemetery at 8:30 a.m., Christ Lutheran Cemetery at 9 a.m. and at the Loretto Catholic Cemetery following Mass.
The 10:30 a.m. Lewis program will last about 45 minutes. The public is invited. The Maple Plain Museum and West Hennepin Heritage Museum will be open until 2 p.m. that day.
In case of rain, the service will be at the Christ Lutheran Church, East Main St., in Maple Plain at 10:30 a.m.
The Rockford Memorial Day parade begins at 10 a.m. from the Rockford Middle School, with Navy services at the Crow River and memorial services at the Elmwood Cemetery with Pastor Rick Newswanger from United Presbyterian Church of Rockford and the Wright County Sheriff’s Office colors and rifle squad.
In case of rain, services will be in the Rockford High School community center.
The Rockford Lions will serve their famous pork chop dinner 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 3 p.m. All area residents are welcome to attend and march in the parade. For more information, contact Lion Eric Lloyd at (763) 226-1195.
A Memorial Day observance in Montrose will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a short parade in the area of Zephyr Avenue (near Highway 12 on the east side of Montrose), near the Wright County VFW 1901 Post.
Commander Bob Putnam said 400 crosses will be set up in the lawn in that area.
Greg Youmans of Montrose will give the Memorial Day address.
Putnam said the Howard Schultz family will also be acknowledged with a plaque for organizing the Memorial Day service for 60 years.
“They’ve done this for many, many, many years,” Putnam said. “They’ve been very instrumental in this service.”