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Editorial: Memorial Day is a time to remember

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Memorial Day is a time to remember those American military personnel from west central Minnesota and the rest of America who have died in the service of our country.

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Every year since 1868, Americans have gathered in communities to remember those who have sacrificed their lives for this country.

No sacrifice is worth greater remembrance than a soldier killed defending America's freedoms.

West central Minnesota has another soldier to add to its memorial list this year. Army Sgt. Kurt E. Kruize of St. Cloud died April 4 in a noncombat accident while serving in Iraq. He was a graduate of Hancock High School.

Other west central Minnesota service members have died in recent years, include:

* Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Kahler of Granite Falls, killed Jan. 26, 2008, while serving in Afghanistan.

* Sgt. Joshua Schmit of Willmar killed April 14, 2007, serving in Iraq.

* Sgt. Kyle Miller of Willmar, killed June 29, 2006, serving in Iraq.

* Sgt. Brent W. Koch of Morton killed June 16, 2006, serving in Iraq.

* Sgt. Jesse Lhotka of Appleton, killed Feb. 21, 2005, serving in Iraq.

* Staff Sgt. David Day of Morris, killed Feb. 21, 2005, serving in Iraq.

* 1st Lt. Jason Timmerman of Tracy, killed Feb. 21, 2005, serving in Iraq.

Since the early days of statehood, west central Minnesotans have served in protection of this region and country.

Veterans who gave their lives in defense of America earned every single freedom each of us enjoys.

In respect and remembrance, we encourage you to attend a Memorial Day service Monday in your community. If you cannot, then take a moment to join the National Moment of Remembrance at 3p.m. local time Monday.

To all the veterans who have served, we thank you!

To those veterans who have sacrificed their lives for our freedoms, we remember!

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