Memorial Day observances Monday
Friday, May 23, 2014 6:27 AM
A number of Winneshiek County communities have planned special events to observe Memorial Day Monday, May 26.
In Decorah, this years Memorial Day will be observed with a parade beginning at the West Decorah bridge starting at 10 a.m.
Following a memorial service at the bridge, the parade will continue down College Dr. to Water St. and proceed to the courthouse by way of State and Main streets.
This year’s parade grand marshal this year is Kenny Nesset, who served in the United States Navy starting in June 1940 until his retirement in 1961 as a Chief Petty Officer.
Some of his duty stations included Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., Aviation Mechanics School at Naval Air Station, Memphis, Tenn., where he attended school and also taught for several years. He also served on the USS Essex and the USS Saratoga, both attack aircraft carriers and at the Naval Air Station Lakehurst, N.J. After retiring from the Navy, he served 23 years in the Winneshiek County Clerk of Court Office.
Immediately following the parade, Memorial Day ceremonies will continue at the courthouse with respects being paid to the deceased veterans of Winneshiek County who have passed away since last Memorial Day.
This year’s speaker is Micheal Foster, a junior at Decorah High School who will be attending summer seminar at the U.S. Naval Academy next week. In June, he will be the representative from Decorah’s American Legion Post No. 163 at the American Legion Boys State.
Foster has been actively involved with veterans programs since discovering the story of the USS Kirk, a ship that saved over 30,000 Vietnamese refugees after the fall of Saigon in 1975. He has been invited to speak of this mission both locally and on both coasts.
He traveled to Washington D.C. in 2011 to accept a Young Leadership award by the Vietnamese American Forces Association.
Following Foster’s address, all veterans present will be called to the courthouse steps while their individual service anthems are played.
All veterans are encouraged to meet on 5th Ave. near the West Decorah bridge at 9:30 a.m. to march. A ride in a flatbed trailer will be provided for those unable to march.
Decorah Elks Club will host a lunch from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The menu includes pulled pork loin sandwiches, hot dogs, baked beans, cookies, iced tea and lemonade.
Admission is a freewill donation, which will be used to support future Elk’s events for veterans.
A memorial balloon launch will be held in front of the Elk’s Club at 12:30 p.m.
Anyone attending the lunch will have an opportunity to complete a memorial card for a loved one that will be attached to a helium balloon and released during a group gathering outdoors.
The Calmar Memorial Day observance will take place at 10 a.m. in the South Winneshiek auditorium.
The ceremony will include: an Advancement of Colors-American Legion, Legion Auxiliary and Veterans; National Anthem-audience; Pledge of Allegiance-Althea Murphy, Halverson-Giensen Unit 266 president; Invocation-Jody Meyer; Taps-Kenn Kirby; Thirty Seconds of Silence-In Honor of Our Dead, Post Commander-Randal Poshusta, Halverson-Giesen Post 266; Reading - Devin Franzen, 2013 Boys State, and Mikayla Lien and Sarah Meyer, 2013 Girls State; Post Commander-Randal Poshusta; Memorial Day Address-Michael Costigan and Benediction- Jody Meyer.
Following the program, refreshments will be served at the Calmar Senior Center by American Legion Auxiliary Unit 266.
Calmar cemetery activities include: cemetery flags - Saturday, May 24 (weather permitting) and Avenue of Flags-Monday, May 26, at 7 a.m. in the Town Square.
Area veterans and buglers leave Calmar Town Square at 7:15 a.m.; 7:30 a.m. - Springfield Lutheran; 8:00 a.m. Our Lady of Seven Dolors, Festina; 8:15 a.m. - St Aloysius: 8:30 a.m. Calmar Lutheran; 9:00 a.m. Calmar City; 9:15 a.m. - Lake Meyer (In Memory of those who Died at Sea);
9:30 a.m. - Town Square.
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 cemeteries.
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.