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Lakes area honors military members who have died

Memorial Day services throughout the lakes area benefitted from relatively dry weather Monday, May 29, though unpredictable clouds may have caused some uncertainty.

The Crosslake-Fifty Lakes American Legion Post 500 led its annual Memorial Day ceremony Monday, May 29, at the Pinewood Cemetery in Crosslake.
The Crosslake-Fifty Lakes American Legion Post 500 led its annual Memorial Day ceremony Monday, May 29, at the Pinewood Cemetery in Crosslake. Theresa Bourke/Echo Journal

Memorial Day services throughout the lakes area benefitted from relatively dry weather Monday, May 29, though unpredictable clouds may have caused some uncertainty.

The service in Nisswa was moved indoors at the American Legion in case of rain, but the ceremony still had a full schedule, featuring speeches by state Rep. John Poston, state Sen. Carrie Ruud and state Sen. Paul Gazelka.

Those gathered at Crosslake's Pinewood Cemetery heard from Steve Eisenreich, Vietnam veteran and founder of the Homeless and Wounded Warriors-Minnesota. The Crosslake/Fifty Lakes American Legion hosted the ceremony.

The Pequot Lakes American Legion and Jenkins Veterans of Foreign Wars posts and auxiliaries hosted the service in Pequot Lakes with Sherri Beaupre as the scheduled guest speaker.

The Pine River American Legion and Auxiliary hosted services, as did the Hackensack Legion, Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion.

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The Backus American Legion, Auxiliary and Sons of the Legion conducted services at Evergreen Cemetery in Backus and Ponto Lake Cemetery.

Pastor Judy Reitz Gustafson, of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Hackensack, who lost relatives in World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, was the guest speaker at both services. She said one of the best ways people can honor those who gave their lives to defend democracy is for them not to allow their political differences to divide the nation, to remember that we are all Americans with a common interest in preserving the American experience and spirit. Veterans are Americans who abide by that spirit, defending the values that make our country and culture so great regardless of their political views, she said.

Legion Commander Eugene Gagnon and Ponto Lake Town Board Chairman Duane Larson also delivered remarks.

Related Topics: PAUL GAZELKA
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