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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Hastings Memorial Day Observance

Lyle Russell Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1210, Nelson Lucking American Legion Post 47, and their auxiliaries will be observing this year's Community Memorial Day on Monday, May 30th, 2016.
The observances will begin at 9:00 AM. 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 Veterans Memorial Levee, Hastings RiverWalk on Ramsey and First Streets. 

Dick Hullander will preside over the observations. Our National Anthem will be song by Pete and Casey Likes, an innovation by Pastor Paris Pasch and community welcome by Mayor Paul J. Hicks.   Special guests will include VFW Voice of Democracy "My Vision for America" Nicholas M. McGarth, Patriot Pen "What Freedom Means to Me" Samuel Krehbiel, American Legion Boy's State participants and Miss Minnesota, Rachel Latuff. A moment of silence will be observed as a tribute to Gold Star Mothers. Commanders and Auxiliary Presidents of the Veteran Service organizations will lay wreaths at all memorials, throughout the various observances. Echo Taps will be performed at the end of each ceremony.
Minnesota National Guard Sergeant Major (Retired) Chris Amundson will be the keynote speaker. Sergeant Major (Ret) Amundson was born in Hutchinson, MN. He joined the Army in August of 1991 and attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Ft Benning, GA to be an Infantryman.

While on active duty SGM (Ret) Amundson was stationed at Ft Meyer, VA where he served as an Infantryman with the 3rd US Infantry (The Old Guard) performing various ceremonial missions in and around the nation's capital. Upon ending his tour of active duty SGM Amundson joined the MN Army National Guard and was assigned to HHC 34th Inf Div out of Rosemount, MN.
While serving in the MN National Guard SGM (Ret) Amundson held various positions throughout the state. His major assignments were as 1SG of the 114th Transportation Company, 1SG of the 1135th Forward Support Company, Operations Sergeant of 2-135th Inf Bn and culminated as the Operations SGM of the 34th Aviation Brigade.

SGM (Ret) Amundson deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 with a small contingency of instructors to train the Afghanistan military and NATO military personal on counter insurgency (COIN). While serving overseas his mission was as the Operation SGM of the COIN Academy and was responsible for the safety and security of all personnel on Camp Julien. 
SGM (Ret) Amundson currently resides in Hastings with his wife MSG (Ret) Angela Amundson, son PFC Alex Amundson who is currently stationed at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey Bay, CA, and daughter, BriAnna Amundson, a soon to be freshman at Hastings High School. 

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. Commendation of the 50th Anniversay of the Vietnam War exhibits can be viewed at the Nelson Lucking American Legion Post 47, Dakota County Library-Pleasant Hill, Hastings City Hall and Mid-Country Bank.

All observances and events are open to the public with a special invitation to all past and present service members and veterans, especially current era. It is recommended that lawn chairs be brought to the Roadside Park. In case of inclement weather, events will be held at 10 AM at the Hastings National Guard Armory. The local radio station will give any notification of change.

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