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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lyle Russell Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1210, Nelson Lucking American Legion Post 47, and their auxiliaries in collaboration with the Hastings Beyond The Yellow Ribbon initiative will again be sponsoring this year’s Community Memorial Day Observances on Monday, May 26th, 2014.

Lyle Russell Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1210, Nelson Lucking American Legion Post 47, and their auxiliaries in collaboration with the Hastings Beyond The Yellow Ribbon initiative will again be sponsoring this year's Community Memorial Day Observances on Monday, May 26th, 2014 

The observances will begin at 9 a.m. with a flag ceremony at the Minnesota Veterans Home, 1200 E. 18th Street, followed by a 10 o'clock program at Roadside Park approximately 20 minutes after the Roadside Park program short ceremonies will follow in sequence at Soldiers and Sailors Cemetery on West First Street and Ninninger Road and end at the Levee Veterans Memorial on Ramsey and First Streets.

At the Roadside Park ceremony, Hastings' Gordon Gathright will sing the national anthem; Pastor Paris Paasch will provide an invocation and Mayor Paul J. Hicks will give the welcome; Master of ceremonies will be Richard Hullander; VFW Voice of Democracy essay finalist Levi J. O'Tool, along with Patriot Pen essay contest winner Mason A Murphy will present their readings with recognition of the American Legion Boy's State Selection _____. 

Congressman John Kline will be this years' key note speaker. A moment of silence will then be observed as a tribute to Gold Star Mother Marilee Carlson. Commanders and Auxiliary Presidents of the Veteran Service organizations will also wreaths at all memorials throughout the observance.

Congressman John Kline has been proud to represent the men and women of Minnesota's 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives since first being elected to Congress in 2002. In 2010, John Kline was chosen by his peers to serve as the Chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee, where he continues to serve today. Congressman Kline, a 25-year veteran of the Marine Corps, also serves on the House Armed Services Committee. During his successful career in the Marine Corps, he served as a helicopter pilot and earned the responsibility of flying Marine One, the President's personal helicopter. He also served as a personal military aide to Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. John and his wife, Vicky, live in Burnsville, Minnesota. He is especially proud of his two children and four grandchildren.

Additionally, during the weekend prior to Memorial Day, our National Flag and Bronze Star Markers will be placed on over 1,000 graves of our departed veterans, along with the Ladies Auxiliary markers for their sisters, in area cemeteries.

All observances and events are open to the public with a special invitation to current era veterans. It is recommended that lawn chairs be brought to the Roadside Park program.

In case of inclement weather, events will be held at 10 AM at the _____. The local radio station will give notification of change.

Monday, May 26th, Memorial Day is a sacred day to all war veterans. America's collective consciousness demands that all citizens be reminded of the deaths of their fellow countrymen during wartime. By honoring the nation's war dead, we preserve their memory and thus their service and sacrifice. All U.S. flags should be displayed at half-staff during the morning hours. At noon, they should be raised back to full-staff.

Memorial Day is a sacred day to all war veterans: None need to be reminded of the reason that Memorial Day must be commemorated. But what about the general public, and more important, future generations? Do most non-veterans really recognize the importance of the day honoring their fellow Americans killed in war?

Judging from what Memorial Day has become—simply another day off from work—the answer is a resounding no. Perhaps a reminder is due, then. And it is the duty of each and every veteran to relay the message.

Sacrifice is meaningless without remembrance. America's collective consciousness demands that all citizens recall and be aware of the deaths of their fellow countrymen during wartime.

Far too often, the nation as a whole takes for granted the freedoms all Americans enjoy. Those freedoms were paid for with the lives of others few of us actually knew. That's why they are all collectively remembered on one special day.

This should be regarded as a civic obligation. For this is a national debt that can only be truly repaid by individual Americans. By honoring the nation's war dead, we preserve their memory and thus their service and sacrifice in the memories of future generations.

They came from all walks of life and regions of the country. But they all had one thing in common—love of and loyalty to country. This bond cemented ties between them in times of trials, allowing a diverse lot of Americans to achieve monumental ends.

We remember the loss of loved ones, a sense of loss that takes group form. In essence, America is commemorating those who made the greatest sacrifice possible—giving one's own life on behalf of others.

Means of paying tribute vary. Pausing for a few moments of personal silence is available to everyone.

Attending commemorative ceremonies is the most visible way of demonstrating remembrance: Placing flags at gravesites, marching in parades, sponsoring patriotic programs, dedicating memorials and wearing Buddy Poppies are examples.

Whether done individually or collectively, it is the thought that counts. Personal as well as public acts of remembering are the ideal. Public displays of patriotism are essential if the notion of remembering war dead is to be instilled in youth.

As America's older war veterans fast disappear from society's landscape, there are fewer and fewer standard-bearers left to carry the torch of remembrance. Such traditions will live on only if there is a vibrant movement to which that torch can be passed.

Now, more than in recent years, the enduring relevance of Memorial Day should be clearly evident. With two wars under way, the public has no excuse not to remember.

This much is owed to the more than 4,500 Americans who have died thus far in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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