Lakes area military service organizations will honor those who died while serving in the U.S. military during Memorial Day observances Monday, May 25, though some ceremonies won’t be quite the same as in past years.
Most traditional services with larger gatherings were canceled or streamlined because of the COVID-19 situation and resulting guidelines, but area military service organizations do plan some kind of events to honor those who died in service.
Crosslake Lutheran Church also plans its annual service Sunday, May 24, at the Outdoor Worship Center.
Following are area plans:
Crosslake Lutheran Church will host its annual Memorial Day service at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 24, at the Outdoor Worship Center on Daggett Pine Road in Crosslake with gates opening at 9:15 a.m.
The outdoor worship area is in compliance with the current Minnesota Department of Health guidelines and practices for the service to comply with regulations.
Pastors Kristin Oltmann and Kurt Hagestuen will preside. Attendees are asked to stay in their vehicles during the entire service and practice social distancing.
This yearly service honors and remembers deceased military veterans who served the country. Guest speaker will be Susan Edwards, post commander for the Billie Brown Post No. 627 in Nisswa. She served in the U.S. Air Force as a law enforcement K-9 handler and is currently serving as Sixth District adjutant and chairwoman of the Department Law and Order Committee.
A graduate of the National American Legion College, she is a proponent for female veterans, an active Legion Rider, served on the Children and Youth Committee at the 2019 national Legion convention and serves as editor of the Sixth District newsletter. She recently was endorsed for department chaplain by her home post and the Sixth District executive committee.
Edwards and her husband, Paul (current Sixth District commander and Army and Air Force veteran), are both retired from Boeing Co. and have a son currently serving in the U.S. Army.
The service will also feature a contingent of the American Legion Color Guard from the Crosslake post firing an honorary salute to the dead, patriotic songs, taps and a flyover by the North Star Squadron. Veterans and military families will be recognized.
The Pine River American Legion will host its usual Memorial Day services Monday, May 25, with events at the Pine River dam, Pine Ridge Cemetery and Swanburg Cemetery.
The services will start at 9:30 a.m. at the Pine River dam. Legion Commander Terry Steele will speak and there will be a gun salute.
A remembrance will then be held at the Pine Ridge Cemetery in Pine River.
A commemorative service to honor those who have served and those who sacrificed all during military service will be at 11:30 a.m. at the Swanburg Cemetery with Pine River American Legion Post 613 providing military honors. Steele will speak, with devotions by Pastor Tom Wright. Those who attend are asked to abide by the governor’s 6-foot social distancing mandate.
Regretfully, due to the governor’s recent extension of the “gatherings must be smaller than 10 people” and the need to continue social distancing, the 2020 Memorial Day ceremony Monday, May 25, at Pinewood Cemetery in Crosslake is canceled, a news release said.
The Crosslake-Fifty Lakes American Legion Post will still place flags on the gravesites of all veterans buried at Pinewood Cemetery for family members who wish to visit and pay tribute to them.
The Legion Post will have an abbreviated ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday, May 25, raising the flag to half staff and playing taps to honor and remember the deceased military veterans who served our country.
The Pequot Lakes American Legion and Jenkins VFW will not hold their traditional Memorial Day ceremony at Pequot Lakes School because of social distancing guidelines and the governor’s order not to gather in groups larger than 10 people.
The Nisswa American Legion will host an abbreviated, virtual Memorial Day service at 11 a.m. Monday, May 25. The event will be livestreamed from the Legion with Commander Susan Edwards as speaker. People can watch the ceremony from their cars, or online at www.facebook.com/nisswaamericanlegion.
The Backus American Legion will put flags on veterans’ graves at Evergreen Cemetery and will sponsor a 30-minute Memorial Day remembrance concert recording by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir entitled “Remember and Give Thanks” on KPRM/KDKK Park Rapids Radio 97.5 FM.