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Communities across west central Minnesota planning Memorial Day festivities

The Veterans Central Council Honor Guard stands at attention at Fairview Cemetery in Willmar during the 2015 Memorial Day program. (TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO)

WILLMAR — Willmar veterans raised the Flags of Honor on Friday on the east side of Willmar Lake. Squads of veterans from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, AMVets and others placed flags on the graves of every veteran in the area. On Memorial Day, the veterans will visit each cemetery where they will read the roll call, fire a rifle salute and play taps.

More than 1,860 flags were put on veterans’ graves.

The schedules for the routes are as follows:

Willmar route

Vinje 7:45 a.m., Bethel 8, St. Mary’s 8:15, Calvary 8:30, Homewood Park 8:45 a.m., flags of honor site 9 a.m.

Northwest route

St. John’s 7:30 a.m., Salem Covenant 7:45, Mamrelund 8, Lundby 8:15, Church of God 8:30, Nannestad 8:40, Lake Florida 9:05 and Solomon Lake 9:15 a.m.

Northeast route

Long Lake 7:20 a.m., Eagle Lake 7:35, State Hospital 7:45, Cloverleaf 8:05, Tripolis 8:30, Oak Park 8:40, Oak Hill 8:50, Svea 9:15 a.m.

Memorial Day services

On Monday, the observance and program is at 11 a.m. at Fairview Cemetery in Willmar.

Auxiliary members and others will gather near the cemetery chapel at 10:30 a.m. to walk as a group to the observance to honor fallen comrades. Everyone is welcome to set up their lawn chairs and then join them for the short walk.

DuWayne Underthun, American Legion Commander, will give the welcome. Rev. Mary Hovland from Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar will give both the invocation and benediction.

There will be an introduction of Gold Star parents and other special guests.

The program will include the presentation of General Logan’s orders by Jose Obregon and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address by Jonah Fabrizius.

The address will be given by retired Army National Guard chaplain Brig. Gen. Dean Elton Johnson, pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar.

There will be a silent tribute to the unknown soldiers and a wreath will be placed in their honor.

“In Flanders Field” will be read by Tyler Johnson, followed by the reading of the roll call of deceased veterans for the past year by Taylor Rudnick.

The national anthem will be played by the Willmar High School band, there will be a flag-raising ceremony and a silent tribute to the veterans buried at sea and overseas.

The Veterans Central Council Honor Guard will provide the rifle salute, followed by the band playing taps.

In case of inclement weather, the program will be held at the Willmar Armory.

The flags of honor will be taken down at 5 p.m. Monday and the veterans will return to the cemeteries to remove the flags, weather permitting.

Families of deceased veterans in the Willmar area are reminded that extra flags and star markers for veterans’ graves are available.

If a veteran’s grave does not have a star marker and flag, one can be obtained in front of the chapel at Fairview Cemetery. There will be some at the Willmar Legion and VFW if needed at other cemeteries.

Afternoon celebration

An afternoon of music will be from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Willmar Community Center.

The Willmar High School pep band and alumni will begin at 12:30 p.m. followed by WHS music groups Camerata, 2701 and the Cardinal Chamber Orchestra at 1 p.m.

John Dean and Irene Wallin will lead a patriotic sing-a-long at 2 p.m.

At 2:45 p.m. there will be dancing with music by Maggie Harp and Dempsey Schroeder. No experience needed and all ages are welcome on the dance floor.

The final group at 4 p.m. will be music by the “Melting Potters.” The group is made up of Harp, Schroeder and Bill Gossman.

The Blue Star Mothers will offer coloring for kids and the opportunity to write thank you notes to send to deployed troops.

Bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on.

Regional celebrations

Appleton: The Memorial Day program will begin at 9 a.m. Monday at the Appleton City Cemetery. Pastor Jodie Cole of Appleton Baptist Church will give the address.

Atwater: The Memorial Day program will be at 11 a.m. Monday at the Atwater Community Center. Pastor Christa Forsythe will give the address. It will be followed by a potluck dinner that everyone is welcome to join.

Belgrade: The Memorial Day program will be at 11 a.m. the BBE High School.

Benson: The Memorial Day parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday in front of the junior high auditorium and end at the cemetery. A program at the cemetery will follow the parade.

Bird Island: The Memorial Day program will begin at 8:45 a.m. at the BOLD school in Bird Island. Rev. Mark Mallek will give the address.

Brooten: The Memorial Day program will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Legion Park. Pastor Ron Knutson will give the address.

Clara City: The Memorial Day program will begin at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the MACCRAY Senior High. Pastor Joel Gueningsman of Immanuel Lutheran Church will give the address.

Clarkfield: The Memorial Day program will be at 9 a.m. Monday in the Clarkfield School. Doug Clevenger will give the address. It will be followed by a ceremony at the Clarkfield City Cemetery.

Clontarf: The Memorial Day program will be at 8 a.m. at the cemetery.

Cosmos: The Memorial Day program will be at 11 a.m. Monday at the American Legion. The speaker will be Kenyon Chief of Police Lee Sjolander. A potluck dinner will follow.

Danube: The Memorial Day program will be at 9 a.m. Monday at the Danube school auditorium. Nancy Standfuss will give the address.

Dawson: The Memorial Day parade will form at the city library at 10 a.m. Monday and go to the Dawson Cemetery for the 11 a.m. program. The address will be given by Dr. Phil Maus.

DeGraff: The Memorial Day Mass is at 10 a.m. at St. Bridget’s followed by a program at the cemetery.

Echo: The Memorial Day program will be at 10 30 a.m. at the Echo Community Center. Anne Kvistad will give the address.

Forest City: The Memorial Day observance will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at Forest City War Memorial Park. Gordon Pennertz will give the address.

Granite Falls: A Memorial Day program will be at 11 a.m. Monday at the Veterans Park along the river in downtown. Col. Ken Degrier will give the address.

Hanley Falls: The Memorial Day program will be at 9:15 a.m. Monday at Yellow Medicine Lutheran Church.

Hector: The Memorial Day program will begin at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the BLHS High School in Hector. Pastor Amy Karlson will give the address.

Kerkhoven: Memorial Day will start with a traditional breakfast from 7 to 9 a.m. at the Civic Center. The program will be at 9:30 a.m. at Hillside Cemetery. Pastor Dave Hannig will give the address.

Litchfield: The Memorial Day parade will begin at 9:15 a.m. from Central Park to Lake Ripley Cemetery for a 10:15 a.m. program. Major Joseph Berube, commander of the Litchfield VFW, will give the address.

Madison: The Memorial Day program will be at 11 a.m. Monday at the cemetery. Dustin Seefeld, Operation “Iraqi Freedom” veteran will give the address.

Maynard: The Memorial Day program will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Maynard Event Center. Michelle Gatz, Yellow Medicine County Veterans Service Officer will give the address.

Milan: The Memorial Day program will be at 10 a.m. Monday at the Milan Community Center gym. A program in narration and song will be presented by the Chord-Ayres and the Milan Area Community Band.

Montevideo: The Memorial Day program will be at 11 a.m. at Sunset Memorial Cemetery. Rep. Tim Miller will give the address.

New London: The Memorial Day program will be at 11:30 a.m. at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Olivia: The Memorial Day program will be at 10:45 a.m. Monday at the National Guard Armory. Rev. George Schmidt from St. Mary’s in Bird Island will give the memorial address.

Paynesville: The Memorial Day program will be at 10 a.m. Monday at the Paynesville school auditorium. Army Lt. Col. Brad Fenske, a 1992 Paynesville High School graduate, will give the address.

Raymond: The Memorial Day parade will begin at 9 a.m. Monday at the school and proceeds to Fairview Cemetery for the program with Pastor John Bothof from the Christian Reformed Church giving the address.

The parade will reassemble and proceed to St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery for another program, with the address given by the Pastor Joyce Graue from St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Renville: The Memorial Day program will be at 10 a.m. Monday at the Community Center. Ron Mackedanz will give the address.

Sacred Heart: The Memorial Day program will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Sacred Heart School. Andy Lang will give the address

Spicer: A lakeside service for veterans buried overseas will be at 9:45 a.m. in downtown Spicer.

Wood Lake: The Memorial Day program will be at 10:30 a.m. at the Wood Lake Community Center. Marty Caraway will give the address.

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