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Memorial Day services scheduled for the weekend

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Memorial Day ceremonies this weekend will be a time of respect and remembrance as Brainerd area residents reflect upon those who gave their lives for their country. Following is a listing of area services:


Brainerd’s Memorial Day ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. Monday at the Laurel Street bridge. A wreath will be tossed into the Mississippi River in remembrance of those lost at sea.

A prayer will be given by Pastor Mark Skinner followed by a rifle salute and “Taps” being played by Marty Judd.

Following will be a ceremony at the All Veterans Memorial next to the Crow Wing County Historic Courthouse. In honor of veterans of the Bataan Death March a wreath will be placed at the Bataan Memorial at the National Guard Armory on Wright Street.

The Memorial Day parade will begin at 10 a.m., starting with line-up on First Avenue Northeast, then east on D Street to Third Avenue Northeast, proceeding to Evergreen Cemetery in north Brainerd.

Musical selections will be performed by the Brainerd High School band under the direction of Chris Fogderud. Master of ceremonies will be Dick Lyscio. Skinner will give the invocation.

Posting of the colors will be by veterans organizations’ Color Guard.

Pledge of Allegiance will be led Kyle Unzeitig, Civil Air Patrol Cadet.

Greetings will be given by Baxter Mayor Darrell Olson, Brainerd Mayor James Wallin and Crow Wing County Auditor/Treasurer Laureen Borden. Evergreen Association greetings will be given by Duane Blanck.

Audrey Lothspeich will give the Gettysburg Address.

Guest speaker will be Congressman Chip Cravaack.

Benediction will be given by Pastor Skinner.

Retiring of the colors will be performed by the color guards.

Firing of the rifle volley will be by Crow Wing County Veterans organizations, followed by “Taps,” with echo, performed by the BHS buglers.

The Memorial Day observance has been conducted under the auspices of the Brainerd Area Memorial Day Committee, which consists of officers and members of area veterans organizations, auxiliaries and other interested persons.

Memorial Day services planned

in Pequot, Crosslake, Nisswa

Annual Memorial Day services will be conducted Sunday at Crosslake Lutheran Church, and Monday in Pequot Lakes, Crosslake and Nisswa.

Pequot Lakes-Jenkins

Pequot Lakes American Legion Post 49 and Jenkins VFW 3839 will host a Memorial Day program at 10 a.m. Monday in the Pequot Lakes High School auditorium.

National Guard Maj. Chip Rankin will be the speaker. The Pequot Lakes men’s choir will provide music. Pianist is Renee Anderson.

After the program, the color guards will march to the Pequot Lakes Cemetery to present honors and then proceed down Sibley Avenue to Sibley Park. A wreath will be placed in Lake Sibley honoring departed Navy veterans.

Lunch will follow at the Pequot Lakes American Legion.


U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn., will be the keynote speaker at a Memorial Day ceremony at noon Monday at the Nisswa American Legion.

Guest speakers include state Rep. John Ward, DFL-Brainerd, and Col. Scott St. Sauver, Camp Ripley commander. Jim Starkey, Post 627 commander, will be master of ceremonies.

The ceremony will begin by recognizing all those with family members currently serving in the military.

Winner of Nisswa Elementary School’s Memorial Day essay contest will read the winning essay on “The Real Heroes Were the Ones Who Didn’t Return Home.”

Brad Wallace from Grace United Methodist Church in Pequot Lakes will perform renditions of the national anthem, “Proud to be an American” (a sing-along), “There She Stands” and the “The Lord’s Prayer.”

The daughters of the late Scott Thurlow, an active member of Post 627 who passed away several years ago, will throw a wreath into Nisswa Lake in honor of all who died at sea.

Father George Zeck will be chaplain.


Pinewood Cemetery: The Crosslake/Fifty Lakes American Legion Post 500 will lead the annual Memorial Day ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday at Pinewood Cemetery in Crosslake.

The ceremony will honor and remember deceased military veterans. More than 150 veterans are buried at Pinewood Ceremony. They will be identified with individual American flags by their grave sites, and they will be recognized individually during the ceremony.

Crosslake Community School students will lead the Pledge of Allegiance, and they will lay a wreath at the flag pole to honor those who served.

The Legion’s color guard will provide full military honors.

Mike Marcum, associate pastor at Pequot Lakes Baptist Church, will be guest speaker. Marcum is a decorated Vietnam War veteran who was awarded three bronze stars with Vs for valor. He is a life member of the American Legion, VFW and Disabled American Veterans. Marcum is chaplain of the Pequot Lakes American Legion Post 49 and is an active member of that Legion’s color guard.

John Carlson will sing a patriotic selection.

Crosslake Lutheran Church: Crosslake Lutheran Church will host a community observance of Memorial Day at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Outdoor Worship Center on Daggett Pine Road, across from the Crosslake Community Center baseball field.

U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn., a first-term Congressman who represents the Eighth Congressional District, will be the guest speaker. Cravaack is a retired U.S. Navy captain who served 24 years as a rated Navy helicopter pilot. He will also speak at the 8:30 a.m. worship service Sunday at Crosslake Lutheran Church on Route 66 in downtown Crosslake.

The Memorial Day celebration will feature patriotic music; a bugler playing “Taps;” a contingent of American Legion veterans led by Bob McPherson firing an honorary salute to the dead; and an aerial fly-over by the North Star Squadron, a group of four fixed wing aircraft flown by experienced pilots who participate in air shows throughout the Midwest.

The leader of this squadron this year is Steve Knight, who has been an adviser to the Civil Air Patrol and now lives in Mission Hill, S.D.

Veterans from World War II to the present will be honored. The theme of the day is “our continuing search for peace and good will among all people.”

Those attending the ceremony may stay in their cars and listen to the service over the radio or sit outside on benches and chairs provided by the Outdoor Worship Center. Participants can bring lawn chairs and blankets.

Cravaack lives in North Branch. He received his bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and earned a master’s degree in education from the University of West Florida. He has also attended courses at the Naval War College and the National Defense University.

In addition to earning naval aviator wings, Cravaack earned distinction as a naval master training specialist. He wears the Navy/Marine Corps Parachutist Badge and an Air Assault Badge. He is also a retired Northwest Airlines pilot.

In Congress he serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he is vice chair of the Aviation Subcommittee; the Homeland Security Committee; and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. The Eighth Congressional District that he represents covers the 18 counties in northeast Minnesota.

Wenzel to speak at Backus

Legion Memorial Day services

BACKUS — Former DFL State Rep. Steve Wenzel, Little Falls, who served 29 years in the Legislature and sponsored the bill that established the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery at Camp Ripley, will give Memorial Day addresses at Backus and Ponto Lake Cemeteries conducted by the Backus American Legion and Auxiliary.

Wenzel, a lifelong Little Falls resident and former state director of the United State Department of Agriculture Rural Development office, is a political science instructor and member of the adjunct faculty at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.

The Backus Legion tribute to deceased veterans who served their country will include a color guard rifle salute, laying of a memorial poppy wreath and playing of “taps.” Backus services will begin at 10 a.m. at Evergreen Cemetery, and the Ponto Lake service will follow at the conclusion of the Backus memorial at approximately 11 a.m., both on Monday.

Wenzel, raised on a family farm near Randall, is a graduate of St. Cloud State University with a bachelor’s degree in education and political science. Elected to the Minnesota Legislature in 1972, he represented Morrison, Crow Wing, southern Cass and Mille Lacs Counties for 29 years. He was chairman of the House Agriculture Committee for 16 years and worked closely with the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans when he was chief author of the legislation that created the Minnesota Veterans Cemetery at Camp Ripley in 1994.

He carried major bills on agriculture, education and criminal justice, including 1989 legislation that substantially increased penalties for violent crimes, including homicide, armed robberies and sexual assault. He led the effort to set aside funding in 2000 to fund the new four-lane Highway 371 from Little Falls to Brainerd. He was appointed Minnesota USDA rural development head by President George W. Bush in 2001, administering a federal staff of 122 employees in 16 regional offices throughout Minnesota that oversee federally funded infrastructure projects in rural communities.

Little Falls

The annual Memorial Day service at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls will be 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

The keynote speaker will be Gen. Richard Nash, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard. Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar will also speak.

The program will consist of instrumental music by the Richfield Symphonic Band, a parade of flags and vocal music provided by Water Into Wine of Little Falls. People are invited to view the first of five 8 by 10 paintings by Little Falls artist Charles Kapsner. The U.S. Army painting is permanently displayed in the Committal Hall in the Administration Building. Kapsner will also have several photos on display that will become the second painting depicting the history of the U.S. Navy. These will be followed by the Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard/Merchant Marines paintings honoring our veterans for their sacrifice and preserving their memory.


The Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post will have a Memorial Day Pow-Wow from noon to 5 p.m. Monday. The outdoor event is free and open to the public but regular admission prices apply to visit the museum.

For more information, call the museum at (320) 532-3632 or email

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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