Area Memorial Day ceremonies slated

Plans unveiled for Pine River, Backus, Nisswa and Crosslake


Crosslake Lutheran Church will host its annual community observance of Memorial Day on Sunday, May 28, with many more services planned on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, in area communities.

The following area services are scheduled:


A more traditional worship service will be held at 8:30 a.m. Sunday in the sanctuary at Crosslake Lutheran Church across from the campground.

The 10 a.m. outdoor worship will feature a larger, community-wide Memorial Weekend observance at 14019 Daggett Pine Road, across from the Crosslake Community Center baseball field.

Both services are open to the public.


The celebration will include recognition of all veterans and military personnel in attendance, music and guest speaker Ken Neihart.

Neihart served for 31 years in the Minnesota Army National Guard, from 1964 to 1995. He received his commission at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1967 and retired in 1995 as a colonel.

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He held various positions in the following National Guard units: 47th Military Police Company, Troop Command, Headquarters 47th Infantry Division, Minnesota National Guard Military Academy, and Minnesota National Guard State Headquarters.

He was on state active duty five times during his time in the National Guard. Currently, he has a son-in-law serving in the Minnesota Air National Guard and three uncles who served during the Second World War.

His civilian occupations were as a police officer for St. Paul for six and a half years and as a biology teacher at Tartan High School for 31 years.

He and his wife, Barb, sold their home in Shoreview and moved full time to Crosslake in 2022.

The outdoor service will feature an aerial flyover (weather permitting). The Crosslake-Fifty Lakes American Legion Post 500 Color Guard will provide appropriate honors to the colors and to the dead, including a bugler playing taps.

Monday service


The Crosslake-Fifty Lakes American Legion Post 500 will lead the annual Crosslake Memorial Day ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday, May 29, at Crosslake's Pinewood Cemetery on County Road 36.

The Crosslake Fire Department will participate with its 78-foot ladder truck displaying a large American flag.

Firefighter Joel Carlton will be the guest speaker. He is a local contractor who has dedicated his life to serving the community.

This ceremony is to honor and remember military veterans who sacrificed their lives defending the United States.

There are 198 local veterans buried at Pinewood Cemetery who are identified with individual American flags at their gravesites. They will be recognized individually during the ceremony.

To begin the ceremony, the American flag will be raised to half staff followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. The ceremony will conclude with the Post 500 Color Guard providing military honors with the traditional rifle salute and the playing of taps.

Those who attend should bring lawn chairs and umbrellas if there is the possibility of inclement weather.

Pine River

Pine River's Memorial Day celebration will begin at 9:15 a.m. Monday, May 29, at the Norway Brook dam, where a wreath will be laid. Jim Parry will speak on behalf of the American Legion.


The group will continue to Pine Ridge Cemetery at 10 a.m. for another wreath ceremony. At 11 a.m., there will be another ceremony at Swanburg Cemetery.

Pequot Lakes

The annual Memorial Day service will start at 10 a.m. Monday, May 29, at Pequot Lakes High School. Guest speaker will be Paul Edwards, from Nisswa American Legion Post 627. Following the service will be a ceremony at the Pequot Lakes Cemetery and a Naval wreath ceremony at Sibley Lake, followed by lunch at the Pequot Lakes American Legion.


Backus American Legion Post 368, the American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion will conduct Memorial Day services 10 a.m. Monday, May 29, at the Backus Evergreen Cemetery and at 11 a.m. at Ponto Lake Cemetery.

Backus American Legion Commander Brad Taylor, a retired veteran of the U.S. Navy, will be the speaker.

In case of bad weather, services will be moved to the American Legion hall in Backus and the Ponto Lake Town Hall. Lunch will be served at 1 p.m. at the Legion Club following the Ponto Lake service.


The Nisswa Memorial Day remembrance will be held at noon Monday, May 29, at the Nisswa American Legion.

Citizens of Nisswa and the area will come together in a commemoration ceremony to honor soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our county’s liberty.

The Nisswa American Legion Color Guard will render military honors. Mitch Myers will provide music. The Nisswa Elementary School essay winner will read their winning essay.


There will also be a guest speaker.

While the main purpose of the ceremony is to honor those who have died, attendees will also honor those who have served and those who continue to fight for the freedom of the United States.

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