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Ceremonies planned for Memorial Day

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Local American Legion and Legion Auxiliary members will be up early Monday morning as they visit cemeteries throughout Pierce County and march in annual parades to pay tribute to military men and women who have died.

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Listed below is a rundown of events.

Ellsworth

Glen Wakefield, past commander of Post 204, will be the main speaker for the Ellsworth Memorial Day program.

Kinne-Engelhart Post 204 will start its annual parade at 9:45 a.m. The route will be from the Legion Hall to Main Street, then east on Main to Chestnut Street and south on Chestnut to the Ellsworth High School cafetorium.

The program there will start at 10:15 a.m. with Post Commander Doug Raehsler as master of ceremonies.

At 10:20 a.m., there will be a drum roll and advance of colors. The Ellsworth High School Vocal Jazz Ensemble will sing the National Anthem, and Pastor Dave Hugare of Zion Covenant Church will offer the invocation.

Following musical selections from the Ellsworth High School band, Auxiliary President Phyllis Beastrom will introduce Gold Star Mothers and guests.

Wakefield will speak before Legionnaires Gerald Christianson and Richard DeCosta lead the tribute to deceased veterans, after which Beastrom will preside over the wreath ceremony.

There will be a flag folding demonstration by Gerald Christianson, Glenn Wakefield and Ray Carlson.

Pete DeMuth will present a POW/MIA Table Ceremony.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 138 will recite the poem “In Flanders Field,” and DeMuth will give the history of Memorial Day.

A prayer and benediction by Pastor Hugare will precede the firing of the gun salute and playing of “Taps,” with a drum roll and retirement of colors concluding the program.

Afterward, lunch will be served at the Legion Hall, with family members invited.

The cemetery visitation schedule is:

Squad 1: 7:45 a.m., Maple Grove; 8 a.m., United Church of Christ; 8:25 a.m., Zion Covenant; 8:45 a.m., Old Clayfield; and 9 a.m., Clayfield.

Squad 2: 7:45 a.m., St. Francis; 8 a.m., Thurston Hill; 8:15 a.m., Beldenville; 8:50 a.m., El Paso; and 9:05 a.m., Lost Creek.

Squad 3: 7:45 a.m., Hartland Presbyterian; 8 a.m., Bethlehem Lutheran; 8:25 a.m., Bethel Covenant (Moeville); and 8:55 a.m., Trimbelle.

Bay City

Lance Garrick, president of The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program, will be the guest speaker at Bay City observances.

Legion Post 357 and its Auxiliary will visit eight sites on Memorial Day. Members will start at 8 a.m. at Eidsvold Cemetery in Esdaile. The ceremony at Hartland Cemetery will begin at 8:30 a.m. At 9 a.m. Legion members will assemble at Tabor Lutheran Cemetery.

At 9:30 a.m. ceremonies will be held at the lakeshore in Bay City to honor those who died at sea. The Ellsworth Middle School Band, under the direction of Lisa Benz, will play there. Cub Scout Pack No. 3 will join in that program.

Garrick will speak at a 10 a.m. program at Bay City Cemetery. The band will play there also.

Services will be held at 10:45 a.m. at Trenton Cemetery. Garrick will also speak there and the band will play.

An 11:30 a.m. service at Diamond Bluff Cemetery and a noon observance at Svea Lutheran Cemetery will conclude the activities.

Elmwood

Crain-Ottman American Legion Post 207 and Auxiliary Unit 207 will hold their Memorial Day program at 11 a.m. May 26 at Veterans Memorial Park in Elmwood.

The speaker will be 1st Class Petty Officer Neil Boltik, who just returned from active duty in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Boltik, who is based in Minneapolis, will speak on the history of Pearl Harbor and about Dec. 7, 1941. The day that, in President Roosevelt’s words, “will live in infamy.”

Legionaries and Auxiliary members are asked to meet at the Elmwood Auditorium by 7:45 a.m. Memorial Day to join those who are making visits to cemeteries. Departure time will be 8 a.m.

Ceremonies are scheduled at these cemeteries: Hatchville Lutheran, 8:15 a.m.; Oak Ridge (Reed), 8:30 a.m.; Spring Lake (both), 8:50 a.m.; Sacred Heart (Farm Hill), 9:30 a.m.; Old Rock Elm, 9:45 a.m.; and Poplar Hill, 10 a.m.

There will be a potluck lunch following the 11 a.m. services. Those attending are asked to bring their own chairs.

Maiden Rock

Maiden Rock Post 158 American Legionnaires will observe Memorial Day at the following cemeteries: Little Plum, 7:25 a.m.; Frankfort, 7:40 a.m.; Porcupine, 7:55 a.m.; Moravian, 8:25 a.m.; Old Sabylund, 8:35 a.m.; New Stockholm Cemetery, 8:50 a.m.; Old Stockholm, 9:05 a.m.; Oakwood Pepin, 9:30 a.m.; New Sabylund, 10 a.m.; Swedish Methodist, 10:15 a.m.; Maiden Rock, 10:45 a.m.; and Lake Pepin lake shore, 11 a.m., for those who died at sea.

Plum City

Plum City Memorial Day services will begin at 8 a.m. at Marie Lund Cemetery in Lund.

A general assembly will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the American Legion Hall. Legionnaires will decorate graves at Free Home Cemetery south of Plum City at 9 a.m., at Ono Cemetery at Grange Hall at 9:30 a.m. and at Union and Catholic cemeteries north of Plum City at 10:15 a.m. American Legion Post 365 decorates the individual graves of about 250 veterans at five cemeteries.

This year’s visit to the Plum City Care Center to show honor to the homebound veterans will follow the cemetery services at about 11 a.m.

Members of Post 365 will then proceed to Spring Pond Park for a ceremony, followed by a program and lunch at the American Legion Hall.

Music at all locations will be provided by Michael Bonn and the Plum City Junior High Band.

Prescott

Events will start at 8:30 a.m. Monday, May 26, when VFW and American Legion members assemble at the Legion Hall on Pearl Street. Rifles will be fired at 9 a.m.

Participants will visit the nursing home (Borner and Orin Streets) at 9:15 a.m., St. Mary's Cemetery in Big River at 9:30 a.m., and St. John’s Cemetery at 9:45 a.m. A ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. at Mercord Mill Park. Rifles will be fired at the park and again at 10:15 a.m. from a site between the bridges.

Parade line-up will be at 10:30 a.m. at the middle school.

The parade will proceed to “Veterans Triangle” at the entrances of Pine Glen and St. Joseph’s cemeteries for services at about 11:15 a.m.

The Chamber of Commerce will hold its chicken feed 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Freedom Park.

Spring Valley

The Memorial Day program in Spring Valley will start at 9:30 a.m. at Handy Andy Park, according to Post 227 Commander Pete Esanbock.

The public is also invited to a Legion-hosted picnic at the park following the program. Hot dogs and brats will be served.

A local veteran will be the keynote speaker.

The Spring Valley High School Band will play a prelude before the program begins. As the program starts, the band will play “The Star Spangled Banner,” and local Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Esanbock will give opening remarks. Post 227 members will lower the flag to half-staff, and a local minister will give the invocation.

Legion Auxiliary President Jeanette Timm will preside over the laying of wreaths, and the names of Spring Valley veterans who have died in the past year will be read aloud.

A firing squad salute, the playing of “Taps” and a benediction will end the ceremonies.

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Judy Wiff
Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.
(715) 426-1049
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