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Prayer service slated Sunday at rural Litchfield, Minn., church to honor all U.S.-Dakota War dead

LITCHFIELD -- Ness Church in rural Litchfield will conduct an outdoor prayer service at 1:30 p.m. Sunday as part of the observance of the 150th anniversary of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.

The prayer service will include a traditional Dakota "Wiping of the Tears'' ceremony led by the Rev. Alan Kitto, a Dakota and ordained Presbyterian minister from Lincoln, Neb.

The prayer service, which is open to the public, will honor all who died in the conflict.

Four Dakota speakers and four non-Indian speakers will participate. Mark Ritchie, Minnesota Secretary of State, Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, and Stephan Elliott of the Minnesota Historical Society are among those who will speak.

Kitto will also lead a Dakota "Dance of Unity.''

Ness Church is located approximately 5 miles southwest of Litchfield. The first victims of the 1862 war were buried at the church.