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Memorial Day observance will be May 31

The annual Hastings Memorial Day commemorative observances, dedicated to all men and women veterans of Hastings who served our country and gave their lives in the service, will be held Monday, May 31, with activities at the Hastings Veterans Home, Roadside Park, Soldiers and Sailors Cemetery, and the Veterans Memorial on the Levee. Jim Holmes will be master of ceremonies.

The program will begin at 9 a.m. with the flag ceremony at the Veterans Home.

The activities at Roadside Park will be held at 10 a.m. Gordon Gathright will sing the national anthem. Richard Clymer, recently retired Hastings High School principal, will present the Memorial Day address. The Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion commanders will place a wreath at the memorial.

The Rev. Paris Pasch will give the invocation, and Hastings Mayor Mike Werner will extend greetings.

Memorial Day readings will by given by Amy Foss, finalist in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Voice of Democracy contest, and Patriot Pen participant Jared Zupfer.

A moment of silence will be observed as a tribute to Hastings Gold Star Mother Mrs. Harry Swanson. Pasch will give the benediction.

Approximately 20 minutes after the Roadside program, a short ceremony will be held at the Soldiers and Sailors Cemetery, West First Street and Nininger Road. Children, dressed in white, will place Buddy Poppy wreaths on the crosses. American Legion Commander Robert Metcalf and VFW Auxiliary President Lorraine Arends will place a wreath.

A brief ceremony and placing a wreath in the water by the VFW Commander Ed Beissel and American Legion Auxiliary President Julie Zgoda will be held at the Veterans Memorial on the Levee.

Each ceremony will include the echo sounding of "Taps" by Jake Bohlken and Mike Jones after the rifle volley of the VFW Honor Guard.

The program is given under the auspices of the Lyle Russell Post 1210 Veterans of Foreign Wars and Nelson Lucking Post 47 American Legion, and their auxiliaries. The Memorial Day program is open to veterans and the public. In case of rain, the ceremony will held at the VFW post home, 320 E. Second St.

On the preceding Saturday, VFW and American Legion members and their friends will place more than 900 flags on veterans' graves in Hastings and area cemeteries.