The agenda for Memorial Day, May 26, in Estherville will have many activities of interest to all.
The day will begin at 7 a.m. with a workers breakfast being served at the Estherville V.F.W. Post 3388 home, followed by the post home flag ceremony at 8 a.m.
The Honor Guard, made up of members from the Iowa National Guard, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3388; American Legion Post 91, Boy Scout Troop 31, Pastor Mike Drew, and buglers from the Estherville Lincoln Central High School.
They will begin a round of ceremonies at the local cemeteries while some of the workers will be setting up the National Guard Readiness Center for the Memorial Day Service. Most will be busy putting out over 400 flags that are flown on the Avenue of Flags (Library/Court House Square).
Cemetery Memorial services will be as follows:
Rural Memorial Day services
9 a.m. Swan Lake Cemetery
9:30 a.m. High Lake Cemetery
10:30 a.m. Wallingford Cemetery
9:30 a.m. Memorial Day Program starts in park and moves to Community Center
9 a.m Memorial Day services at the Ringsted American Legion/Community Center with lunch to follow
8:20 a.m. East Side Cemetery Pastor Joel Smeby
8:40 a.m. Lutheran & East Side Memorial Cemetery Pastor Glenn Bohmer
9:15 a.m. Oak Hill Cemetery Pastor Glenn Bohmer
9:15 a.m. Catholic Cemetery Memorial Day Mass, Monsignor Sernet
9:35 a.m. Central Avenue Bridge Pastor Glenn Bohmer
10:10 a.m. Catholic Cemetery, Honor Guard Service, Monsignor Sernet
Services will start at 11 a.m. at the National Guard Readiness Center in Estherville. Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Gene Haukoos, U.S. Navy Retired will be the Master of Ceremonies. Pastor Mike Drew will provide the invocation, flag dedication and the benediction.
The members of the ELC band and the Varsity Choir will provide patriotic music. The Methodist Praise Team will present, "Sweet Freedom Song" narrated by their own member veteran, Jim Butler.
Mr. Mark Friesner of the Henry-Olson Funeral Home will read the names of those departed veterans being dedicated to the Avenue of Flags. Concluding the ceremonies will be the Honor Guard Salute and the playing of Taps.
All flags dedicated this year will be placed at the southwest corner of the courthouse (North Sixth Street and First Avenue North) right after the ceremony.
The Emmet County Court House will be open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. for viewing the 550 retired flags displayed there. The courthouse flag display is almost full. With the increase numbers of WWII and Korea veterans passing we need to remove all WWI and earlier flags. If you would like to have a loved one's flag removed from the courthouse and returned to the family please contact Gene Haukoos (712-362-3698). If you have a loved one's flag that is currently being flown in the Avenue of Flags and wish to return it to the family contact Gene Haukoos before Memorial Day. Once the flags are taken down for the year it is almost impossible to retrieve the flag.
Flags that were dedicated to the Avenue of Flags through 1999 will be retired to the Court House.
On this the 146th anniversary of Memorial Day, everyone is urged to attend and show their respect and gratitude for those that have served and protected your freedom through the years. Walk among the flags to feel their healing power. Read the names and remember their stories. Anyone who wishes to help put up the flags should arrive at the V.F.W. at 7 a.m. or at the town square at 8 a.m. To help take down the flags, return to the town square at 5 p.m.