Memorial Day events planned in the lakes area

Brainerd Brainerd Memorial Day ceremonies begin 8:30 a.m. Monday, May 28, at the Laurel Street bridge, where a wreath honoring those veterans lost at sea will be tossed into the Mississippi River. A prayer will be given by Pastor Mark Skinner, fo...

The American flag and prisoner of war and missing in action flag at the Brainerd Post Office are ringed by ornamental crab apple trees in bloom as Memorial Day approaches. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch
The American flag and prisoner of war and missing in action flag at the Brainerd Post Office are ringed by ornamental crab apple trees in bloom as Memorial Day approaches. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch


Brainerd Memorial Day ceremonies begin 8:30 a.m. Monday, May 28, at the Laurel Street bridge, where a wreath honoring those veterans lost at sea will be tossed into the Mississippi River. A prayer will be given by Pastor Mark Skinner, followed by the firing of a rifle salute and taps.

The ceremony will proceed to the All Veterans Memorial next to the Crow Wing County Historic Courthouse, where a wreath will be placed in honor of all veterans of the armed forces of the United States of America. This will be followed by a prayer from Skinner, the firing of a rifle salute and taps.

A brief ceremony will then take place at the Bataan Memorial, located next to the National Guard Armory on Wright Street. This will include the placing of a wreath by Bataan Death March survivor Walt Straka, a prayer by Skinner, firing of a rifle salute and taps.

The Memorial Day parade will begin at 10 a.m, with lineup beginning at 9:30 a.m. proceeding east on B Street to Third Avenue Northeast, then north to Evergreen Cemetery.


Master of ceremonies will be Bill Satre. Guest speaker will be Steve Rosenow. The Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Tanner McFarland, Eagle Scout Troop No. 43, Brainerd. Music will be provided by the Brainerd High School Band. The Gettysburg Address will be presented by Chris Boucher, Eagle Scout Troop No. 45, Brainerd. A presentation of the "Ragged Old Flag" will be made by Jan Lambert.

Brainerd Mayor Ed Menk, as well as Tim Bray of Crow Wing County and Duane Blanck of Evergreen Cemetery will offer greetings.

The American Legion and Brainerd Elks are hosting a free picnic lunch 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday at the American Legion parking lot, 708 Front St., Brainerd.

Cragun's Annual Family Fun Day

The Cragun's Resort on Gull Lake annual Family Fun Day will begin with a Memorial Day parade at noon Sunday, May 27, along Lakefront Road. The event will continue at South Beach following the parade with an afternoon of speakers and family events including bounce houses, yard games, music and more.


Pastor Greg Stine of Lakeside Baptist Church in Backus will deliver the Memorial Day addresses at Backus and Ponto Lake cemeteries conducted by the Backus American Legion, Auxiliary and Sons of the Legion.

The Backus Legion tribute to deceased veterans who served their country will include singing of "America the Beautiful," remarks by Legion Commander Eugene Gagnon, Auxiliary President Judy Deibel and Ponto Lake Town Board Chairman Duane Larson. The Memorial Day address will follow by Stine, who has 15 years of experience in youth ministry, was a prison chaplain and served churches in Wisconsin and Kansas prior to coming to Lakeside Baptist in September of 2017.


The service will also include the laying of a memorial poppy wreath, a tolling of the bell for deceased veterans and spouses in the past year, a color guard rifle salute and the playing of taps.

Backus services will begin at 10 a.m. at Evergreen Cemetery, and the Ponto Lake service will follow the conclusion of the Backus memorial at about 11 a.m., both on Monday, May 28.

In the event of bad weather, services will be moved to the Legion clubrooms in Backus and Ponto Lake Town Hall. If so, the Legion will request an announcement on radio stations KDKK 97.5 FM and KQ-101.9 FM, or that information can be obtained by calling the Legion at 218-947-3416.

Stine is a graduate of Maranatha Baptist University of Watertown, Wis., has been a school teacher and administrator and spent 15 months as a chaplain at a state prison in Arizona. He has served as a court-appointed special advocate volunteer and conducted jail ministries in Wisconsin and Kansas. He also started chapters of Reformers Unanimous, a faith-based addiction program, in both those states.


Crosslake Lutheran Church's annual Memorial Day service is set for 10 a.m. Sunday, May 27, at the Outdoor Worship Center on Daggett Pine Road across from the Crosslake Community Center baseball field.

This service will feature the national anthem sung by John Carlson; Tuck Nolop 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 aircrafts flown by experienced pilots who participate in air shows throughout the Midwest. The leader of this squadron is Steve Knight, who was an advisor 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 goodwill 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 as well.

The guest speaker is Lt. Col. Sara Lokstad.

Lokstad's nearly 20-year military career began as a newly appointed Army doctor on active duty primarily at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. She served as deputy commander for clinic services, as a member of the Medical Evaluation Board, and as physician for the Warrior Transition Unit for wounded soldiers. While there she deployed to Iraq, serving with the 115th Combat Support Hospital. She later joined the Army Reserves and was deployed to Kuwait while a staff doctor in the 452nd Combat Support Hospital, Milwaukee, Wis. She will be deployed again this summer.

Lokstad grew up on a small farm near Newfolden in a large family where her grandfather, father and brothers all served in the military. She has a bachelor's degree in biology from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth. She attended medical school at the University of Minnesota, Duluth and Minneapolis with a doctorate in medicine. Her internship and residency was done at Madigan Army Medical Center in Fort Lewis, Wash. Lokstad currently serves as family practice provider at the Crosslake Essentia Clinic.

She is married to Mike, and they have two children, Sam and Madeline.


The Crosslake-Fifty Lakes American Legion Post 500 will host its annual Memorial Day ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday, May 28, at Pinewood Cemetery in Crosslake.

This year's ceremony will feature guest speaker Gail Smith, a 14-year veteran of the Army Nurse Corps. She served with the 311 Evacuation Hospital as chief training officer. While on active duty, Captain Smith deployed to United Arab Emirates during Operation Desert Storm in 1990-91 as staff to establish trauma readiness.She was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for her service.


This annual ceremony is to honor and remember deceased military veterans who served the country. There are more than 180 veterans buried at Pinewood Cemetery identified with individual American flags at their gravesite and will be recognized individually during the ceremony.

To begin the ceremony, during the raising of the flag, John Carlson will sing the national anthem followed by Crosslake Community School students laying a wreath at the base of the flagpole.

Father Blake Rozier of Immaculate Heart Catholic Church will deliver the invocation and benediction.

The ceremony will conclude with the Post Color Guard providing military honors with the traditional rifle salute and the playing of taps.

Bring lawn chairs and umbrellas if there is the possibility of inclement weather.


A Memorial Day service will be 10 a.m. Monday, May 28, at the Garrison Cemetery.



The Hackensack Early Memorial Day service will be 1-2 p.m. Sunday, May 27, at Finnelly Cemetery.

The Hackensack Memorial Day service will be 11 a.m.-noon Monday, May 28, at Hillcrest Cemetery on Cemetery Road in Hackensack.

The Hackensack Memorial Day graveside services will be 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, May 28, at Ponto Lake Cemetery on County Road 84, Hackensack, following by club social and 1 p.m. luncheon.

Little Falls

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs invites the public to the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls for a Memorial Day ceremony Sunday, May 27.

Musical selections by the Richfield Symphonic Band will begin 1:30 p.m. followed by a program that will include the placing of ceremonial wreaths, music by the Grey Eagle Community Choir, a fallen soldier display by the Korean War Veterans-Minnesota Chapter 1 and a rifle salute by the Memorial Rifle Squad.

Joseph Hjelmstad, Command Sergeant Major of 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division will be the guest speaker.

In honor of Memorial Day, the Military Museum at Camp Ripley will also be open for visitors 10 a.m.-5 p.m.


Due to the high number of attendees expected, the public is encouraged to bring lawn chairs and carpool, if possible. Also, as a reminder to families, the cemetery floral policy allows for artificial flowers to be placed on gravesites May 20 to June 9. Any artificial flowers on gravesites before or after these dates will be removed. Fresh-cut flowers may be placed at any time of the year. A full list of cemetery floral regulations are posted on signs throughout the cemetery.


A Memorial Day service will be 2 p.m. Sunday, May 27, at the Malmo Cemetery. Honors will be provided by the Isle Area Honor Guard.


Nisswa's annual Memorial Day remembrance event is set for noon Monday, May 28, at the Nisswa American Legion, where citizens will come together to honor all soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guardsmen.

Guest speaker will be Pastor Mike Marcum. Master of ceremonies will be Jim Starkey, of Nisswa American Legion Post 627.

The ceremony will begin by recognizing all families with members of their family currently serving in the military. The event is not only to honor those who have died, but also those who live and continue to fight for freedom.


A Memorial Day service will be 9 a.m. Monday, May 28, at the Onamia High School, and then moving on to the Veterans, Catholic and Foster cemeteries. Honors will be provided by the Onamia Vets Club. All are invited to return to the Vets Club for lunch following the service at Foster Cemetery.

A Memorial Day Powwow will be noon-5 p.m. Monday, May 28, at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post. Bring the family and join museum staff and community members to participate in this social gathering honoring veterans past and present. The event is free and open to the public. Regular admission fees apply if visiting the museum. Sponsored by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and AM Vets Post No. 53 and Ladies Auxiliary.

Pequot Lakes

The Pequot Lakes American Legion and Jenkins VFW will host a Memorial Day service at 10 a.m. Monday, May 28, in the Pequot Lakes High School auditorium.

The service will include invocation by Chaplain Alan Olson. Renee Anderson will provide musical accompaniment on piano while the Men's Community Choir performs songs.

The Legion Color Guard will lead the ceremony from the school to the cemetery, where Jenkins VFW Chaplain Al Abear will speak.

The ceremony will then move to Sibley Lake Park where a naval wreath-laying ceremony will take place.

Pine River

Pine River American Legion Fraser-Nelson Post 613 and its Auxiliary will host Memorial Day services at 9:30 a.m. Monday, May 28, at the Pine River Dam in Pine River.

Participants will then journey to the Pine Ridge Cemetery in Pine River to pay honors at about 10:30 a.m.

A service will then be at noon at Swanburg Cemetery. Steve Gardiner will give a speech during ceremonies.

Pastor Greg Stine
Pastor Greg Stine

What To Read Next
Get Local