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Area Memorial Day events, programs pay tribute to fallen veterans
The Kenyon Leader - 5/24/2018
Local pre-Memorial Day events
On Thursday, May 24, local veterans organizations and the Kenyon Veterans Support Group will post flags at the graves of veterans in 16 area cemeteries. Kenyon Color Guard President Mike "Mac" McDonald extended thanks to the many flag volunteers and reminds the public to check the condition of their flags.
On Sunday at 9:30 a.m. the Kenyon Veterans Color Guard holds a graveside service at Vang Cemetery, followed by an 11:30 a.m. service with the Faribault Riders at Kenyon Veterans Memorial Park. A memorial service is also held at 1 p.m. at the State Veterans Cemetery in Preston.
Wanamingo events on Memorial Day
8 a.m. Ceremony and prayer at the Wanamingo POW/MIA Memorial8 a.m. Girl Scout Pancake Feed at the community centerParade steps off at 9 a.m., proceeding north on Highway 57 from the community center to Riverside Park for the program; Trinity Lutheran Church is the backup rain locationMemorial on the bridge honors those lost at sea with local youth Piper Benbrooks, Aislynn Ronningen, Seth Nystuen and Ben Scheffler bearing flowersPrayers by Pastor Patrick McBride of New Life ChurchWanamingo Scouts lead the Pledge of Allegiance and Mayor Ryan Holmes speaks to the crowd Patriotic music performed by the Kenyon-Wanamingo Marching Band, guided by Band Director Claire Larson"In Flanders Field" read by Corissa Kern and the Gettysburg Address given by Hunter WalkerKeynote speaker is Master Chief Scott Quamme of the U.S. Navy.Honor Roll of the Fallen is read, Wanamingo Veterans Honor Guard Rifle Squad provides the 21-gun saluteFlag detail by Jim Kittelson, taps is played by Tess Hokanson and Cole Flom
Kenyon Memorial Day
Veterans gather at the Kenyon VFW to prepare for the parade a half hour early, parade departs at 10:30 a.m. proceeding east to the Kenyon Cemetery for the programPeter "Mark" Hegseth is the honorary marshalPrayer by Pastor Julie RognessMusic provided by the K-W Marching Band with a special presentation of "The Star Spangled Banner" sung by Sophie Kyllo and Sydney PoquetteKeynote speaker is Gerald "Jerry" Wolters, U.S. Marine CorpsHonor Roll of the Fallen read, followed by 21-gun salute by the Kenyon Veterans Color GuardColors are restored at the cemetery and Hokanson and Flom perform tapsVeterans restore the colors at Kenyon Veterans Memorial ParkLunch for all participants at the VFW, public invited to lunch as well for a nominal fee.
Gerald "Jerry" Wolters
Kenyon's keynote speaker, Wolters, was born in in Waseca and is a graduated from Litchfield High School in 1957. After a year of college he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 1964. With degrees from San Jacinto College and St. Cloud State, he entered the teaching field and taught band and music in Minnesota public schools and college for 39 years.
Wolters is a life member of the Marine Corps League and has served as commandant of the Heartland Detachment for the past seven years. He recently completed his third term as commandant of the Department of Minnesota, working to propose, present and lobby for legislation to better the lives of Minnesota veterans.
He uses music to honor fallen veterans, performing with and directing the Cuyuna Range Community Band and performing military service songs and taps at military funerals.