Memorial Day observances planned for Monday
The Hastings community will honor those men and women who served the country and those who did but did not return when the annual Memorial Day observances are held Monday, May 30.
The Lyle Russell Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1210 and the Nelson Lucking American Legion Post 47 of Hastings, and their auxiliaries in collaboration with the Beyond the Yellow ribbon Initiative sponsor the Memorial Day programs at four locations.
The observance begins at 9 a.m. at the Minnesota Veterans Home, Hastings. The observance moves to Roadside Park at 10 a.m. Shorter ceremonies will be held at Soldiers and Sailors Cemetery, West First Street and Nininger Road, and at the Levee Veterans Memorial along the Mississippi River.
Deceased veterans will be remembered in a rifle salute by the VFW firing squad and the VFW Honor Guard buglers will play "Taps" following the rifle volley at each of the observances.
At the Roadside Park observance, Gordon Gathright will sing the national anthem; the Rev. Paris Pasch will offer the innovation, and Mayor Paul Hicks will give the welcome. Jim Holmes will again be the master of ceremonies at all locations. Gold Star mothers Mrs. Harry Ruth) Swanson and Mrs. Daniel (Merilee) Carlson) will be honored.
The Memorial Day speaker this year will be Hastings City Administrator Dave Osberg. He will speak at Roadside Park.
Osberg, 52, has been city administrator since March 20, 1989. He and his wife Laurie have four children, Mike 24; Dan 22; Sarah 20; and John 17.
He has not finalized his theme yet, but indicated it "will offer considerable thanks to the veterans and encourage all to do the same; and to remember the importance celebrating Memorial Day."
Commanders and auxiliary presidents of the service organizations will place wreaths at each respective memorial. Officers of the VFW are Commander Bob Clark and Auxiliary President Barb Hamilton. Officers of the America Legion are Commander Diane Metcalf, Auxiliary President Julie Zgoda, and Sons of the American Legion Commander John Zgoda. John Zgoda also holds the position of detachment commander for the Sons of the American Legion.
People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to the Roadside Park observance.
In case of bad weather, the Memorial Day program will be held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 2035 W. 15th St.
On the preceding Saturday the American Legion, VFW, and their friends will place more than 1,000 flags on veterans' graves in and around the Hastings area cemeteries.
All observances are open to the community.