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Close preparing for cemetery expansion preparing for cemetery expansion

The awarding of approximately $1.4 million to the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery means the expansion of the cemetery will start soon. This also means that will soon have a greater responsibility in obtaining enough wreaths each year to honor every fallen veteran and their families buried at the cemetery. The number of burials that can be scheduled has increased from 4 to 7 per day.

“This year the number of wreaths and specific grave requests has increased considerably,” said John Thomas, president of “Many organizations such as VFWs, American Legions, Lion’s Clubs, and business’s statewide have stepped forward with substantial contributions. We are also seeing many individuals that have not contributed or sponsored a wreath before, honoring us with their contribution.”

This year the date for the National Remembrance Ceremony has been changed to Dec. 15, the third Saturday in December. Next year and thereafter it will be on the second Saturday in December, Thomas said. The annual ceremony has been conducted at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery honoring those veterans that have served our country. This will coincide with ceremonies at veterans’ cemeteries statewide, nationwide, and in other countries as well. After the ceremony, consisting of representatives from each branch of the military, several thousand wreaths are placed on various markers of our fallen veterans. Many volunteers from the Minnesota Civil Air Patrol and the Minnesota Patriot Guard perform the honor of placing the wreaths on the grave sites. The public is also invited to assist in the wreath distribution.

“Again this year an opportunity exists where any family or friend that has a loved one buried at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls may now arrange for a wreath to be placed on the grave of that fallen veteran”, Thomas said.

To have your personal wreath hand-made and included in this memorable event send your name, address, and phone number (in case of questions) and $15 (or more) to: Wreaths, 5244 Ashdale Lane, Baxter MN 56425.Also include the full name, date of birth, and date of death of the veteran the wreath is for. Please make your check out to “Wreaths” and send before Dec. 1.

For those that would like to make a general donation to this cause, please feel free to contribute to the wreath general fund and an appropriate number of wreaths will be made and distributed at the event. Everyone is invited to participate in the wreath-laying ceremony.

For additional information, contact: John Thomas at 829-6622 or go to

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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