A number of Winneshiek County communities will observe Memorial Day Monday, May 27.
The Memorial Day observance in Decorah kicks off at 10 a.m. at the West Decorah Bridge with a wreath and flower laying ceremony at 10 a.m.
The parade will travel from the bridge, down Water St. and turn south on State St., then east on Main St. before proceeding to the courthouse for a brief ceremony.
Grand marshals for this year's parade are family members of the late U.S. Army Ranger Christopher Horns, who was killed in action Oct. 22, 2011.
His family recently restored Chris's Jeep, which they will be driving in the parade.
"We are here participating in this Memorial Day parade to honor our son and many more brave soldiers," said his father.
Keynote speaker at the ceremony immediately following the parade is Major Dan Walter.
Water currently serves as the Operations Officer for the 1/383rd Training Support Battalion in Des Moines.
During his time in the U.S. Army Reserve, Walter has served as platoon leader and company commander for Brave Company 389th Engineer Battalion and as a team leader and Battalion S-3 for the 1/383rd Training Support Battalion. In 2003, Walter was mobilized for duty in Iraq as a platoon leader with Bravo Company 389th.
Today he serves as a lieutenant with the Ames Police Department. He and his wife, Mollie, have two children and reside in Ames.
Decorah Elk's Lodge No. 443 will present the Medal of Valor to the family of Christopher Horns at the Courthouse. The Medal of Valor is presented to a deserving family of the fallen hero who gave up his or her life in the ongoing Iraqi and Afghanistan conflicts.
Decorah Elks Lodge No. 443 will join our local veterans organizations in saying thank you to all veterans who have served or still are serving.
They will open the lodge up for lunch following the ceremonies at the courthouse and invite members and the community to stop in and say thank-you to all the veterans who are participating in this year's parade and courthouse ceremony.
Serving begins at noon. Cost is $5 and includes hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and baked beans.
A free lunch and beverage will be provided to all veterans who participate in the parade and courthouse ceremony.
Memorial Day Services begin with a 7:30 a.m. mass at St. John's followed by an 8 a.m. American Legion Service in the town square (weather permitting). At 8:15, there will be a parade by the American Legion Service, weather permitting.
Military services will take place at 8:45 a.m. at St. John's Cemetery and Veterans Memorial, followed by a 10 a.m. service at St. Anthony's Cemetery (smallest church, Festina).
Ossian will begin its Memorial Day observance with visits to area cemetaries.
The cemetery schedule includes: 7:45 a.m. Bethany Lutheran, 8 a.m. First Lutheran, 8:15 a.m. Stavanger Lutheran, 8:30 a.m. Silver Springs (honoring those lost at sea), 8:45 a.m. Hillside Cemetery, 9 a.m. Bloomfield, 9:15 a.m. Castalia Veterans Memorial, 9:30 a.m. Pleasant View, 9:45 a.m. Centennial, 10 a.m. St. Francis De Sales Cemetery.
The parade will start at 10:30 a.m. at the Ossian City Park and travel past the Ossian Senior Hospice, down Main Street to the Ossian Post Office, then back to the K.C. Hall. The program will start at 11 a.m. Any veteran wishing to march or ride in the parade should be at the Legion Hall at 10:15 a.m. Participation in this activity will be appreciated. People who ride horses in the parade should meet at the City Park at 10 a.m.
"Please remember to remove your hats and stand proud as the veterans and our country's colors pass by. Please give your veterans a hand and join us at the De Sales Cemetery at 4 p.m. in the afternoon to help take down the memorial flags and poles; your help would be greatly appreciated," said a press release from the city of Ossian.
A final memorial salute will be held at the Veterans Memorial at Carey Park immediately following the memorial program. American Legion, Brockman-Hammersland Post No. 503 of Ossian would appreciate the participation of the community in remembrance of the deceased members of the area who have served their country.
Calmar will begin its Memorial Day observance with visits to local cemeteries.
Cemetery schedule includes: 7:30 a.m., Springfield Lutheran; 8 a.m., Our Lady of Seven Dolors, Festina; 8:15 a.m., St. Aloysius; 8:30 a.m. Calmar Lutheran; 9 a.m. Calmar City; 9:15 a.m. Lake Meyer (in memory of those who died at sea); and 9:30 a.m., town square.
A 10 a.m. community Memorial Day service will follow in the South Winneshiek Auditorium.
The program will include an invocation by Pastor Ginny Olson, Taps by Kenn Kirby, a reading by Dakota Hageman and a Memorial Day address by Dennis Soppe.
Following the program, refreshments will be served at the Calmar Senior Center by American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 266.