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Community will honor, remember those who served the country May 30

The Hastings community will remember the men and women who died while serving this country when the Lyle Russell Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1210, Nelson Lucking American Legion Post 47, and their auxiliaries observe Memorial Day Monday, May 30.

The observances will begin at 9 a.m. with a flag ceremony at the Minnesota Veterans Home, 1200 E. 18th Street, followed by a 10 a.m. program at Roadside Park.

Approximately 20 minutes after the Roadside Park program, a short ceremony will follow at Soldiers and Sailors Cemetery on West First Street and Nininger Road. The concluding ceremony will be at the Veterans Memorial Levee at Ramsey and First streets.

At the Roadside Park ceremony, Pete and Casey Likes will sing the national anthem; the Rev. Paris Pasch will give the invocation; Mayor Paul J. Hicks will give the welcome; winners of the VFW Voice of Democracy contest (“My Vision for America” by Nick McGrath) and Patriot Pen contest (“What Freedom Means to Me” by Samuel Krehbiel), American Legion Boy’s State participants and Miss Minnesota Rachel Latuff will be present.

Minnesota National Guard Sgt. Maj. (retired) Chris Amundson will be the keynote speaker. Amundson was born in Hutchinson, joined the Army in 1991 and attended basic training and advanced individual training at Fort Benning to be an infantryman.

While on active duty Amundson was stationed at Fort Meyer, Virginia, where he served as an infantryman with the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) performing various ceremonial missions in and around the nation’s capital.

When he ended his tour of active duty, Amundson joined the Minnesota Army National Guard and was assigned to HHC 34th Infantry Division out of Rosemount.

While serving in the Minnesota National Guard, Amundson held various positions throughout the state.

Amundson deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 with a small contingency of instructors to train the Afghanistan military and NATO military personnel on counter insurgency (COIN). While serving overseas his mission was as the Operation SGM of the COIN Academy and he was responsible for the safety and security of all personnel on Camp Julien.

Amundson currently resides in Hastings with his wife MSG (retired) Angela Amundson, son PFC Alex Amundson who is currently stationed at the Defense Language Institute in Monterrey Bay, and daughter, BriAnna Amundson, who will be a freshman at Hastings High School this fall.

A moment of silence will then be observed as a tribute to Gold Star Mothers. Commanders and auxiliary presidents of the veteran service organizations will also lay wreaths at all memorials throughout the various observances.

Additionally, during the weekend prior to Memorial Day, the American flag and Bronze Star markers will be placed on more than 1,000 graves of veterans along with the Ladies Auxiliary markers for their members in area cemeteries.

Commendation of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War exhibits can be viewed at the Nelson Lucking American Legion Post 47, Dakota County Pleasant Hill Library, Hastings City Hall and MidCountry Bank.

In case of inclement weather, events will be held at 10 a.m. at the Hastings National Guard Armory. The Hastings radio station, KDWA, will give any notification of change.

All observances and events are open to the public with a special invitation to all past and present service members and veterans. It is recommended that lawn chairs be brought to Roadside Park.