Annual Memorial Day ceremony honors those who passed during service

Jordan Gerard/SGH Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops of Spring Grove lay wreaths on six crosses in front of the Spring Grove Area Veterans Memorial at the Memorial Day ceremony on May 28.
By : 
Jordan Gerard

The annual Memorial Day ceremony was well attended by community members, kids, scout troops and American Legion Post 249 members.

The program began with a parade down Main Street to Viking Memorial Park. Legion Commander Anne Doering gave opening remarks and welcomed Trinity Lutheran Pastor Elizabeth Hermeier for the invocation.

Under the direction of Director Willy Leafblad, the Spring Grove High School Band played the National Anthem.

Speaker Dean Johnson talked about his training the Marine Corps in the Caribbean in 1974.

His platoon was set up on a hillside in the shape of an amphitheater and they were doing a live firing exercise, only another platoon was set up incorrectly so rounds were almost taking the buttons off of soldiers’ uniforms as they laid in the dirt on their backs.

Johnson was the radioman for his platoon, and he’d set his radio up on top of mountains to get a better signal. He’d also make coffee and hot chocolate for his fellow soldiers.

He was able to share his love of stars and constellations with his buddies. They’d watch the moon come up every night.

“I got lucky. I never had to carry anyone off that field,” he said. “Memorial Day is not only veterans’ day, but your day,” he said. “We get a lot of support from our farms and families to help soldiers and veterans.”

Legion member Don Ellestad recognized the 34 new names on the Spring Grove Area Veterans Memorial, recently added in May.

“We’re honored and proud to add those new names,” he said.

Vice Commander Christian Myrah read the roll call and after, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts laid wreaths and flags on six crosses in front of the memorial.

A rifle salute and “Taps” was played at the end of the ceremony. Visitors took time to thank veterans in the crowd for their service and to take in the names on the memorial.

New names

* Deceased

Civil War

Hans Clauson*

World War II Era 

Wyllian Johnsrud Griffith*, Ruth Johnsrud Simpson* and Walter V. Langland.

Korean Era

Arlie C. Blexrud, Duane J. Danielson*, Verdon O. Erickson*, Gilbert L. Fruechte*, Franklin B. Hahn, Arnie S. Hasleiet, Harlan W. Ingvalson*, Leland G. Ingvalson*, Wayne A. Musser, Gary P. Roverud, Gerald R. Schwartzoff, Donald A. Thorson, Ronald V. Tollefsrud and Leland E. Wenig*.

Vietnam Era

Truman C. Clauson, Charles A. Holten, Larry T. Lane, Ronald S. Lane, Dean L. Melbostad, Duane J. Melbostad, Charles A. Morken, Garey M. Norgard*, Jeffrey L. Olson, Mark D. Roble, Wallace L. Ross, Jr., Bruce L. Storlie, James R. Thorson* and Charles A. Wiste.

Persian Gulf Era

Chad T. Lane and Daniel D. Oakes.