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Celebrate Memorial Day

May 26, 2017
David Swartz - Managing Editor ( , Estherville News

By David Swartz

Managing Editor

Memorial Day is a time set aside to remember those who have served in America's armed forces.

Article Photos

In recognition of those veterans, several activities and ceremonies will take place in Estherville on Monday.

Memorial Day in Estherville is highlighted with an 11 a.m. service at the National Guard Readiness Center located at 413 S. 18th St.

However, the day begins much earlier for volunteers in transforming the town square of Estherville into a sea of red, white and blue flags.

At 7 a.m., a workers breakfast will be served at the Estherville V.F.W. Post 3388 home, with a post home flag ceremony at 8 a.m., conducted by Pastor Doug Burton.

At 8:15 a.m., an Honor Guard will begin the first of several ceremonies at area cemeteries.

The Honor Guard is made up of members from the Iowa National Guard, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3388; American Legion Post 91, Pastor Cole McCormick, and bugler Joe Sexe from 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 and Courthouse Square).

Cemetery Memorial services will be as follows:

n 8:15 a.m. East Side Cemetery

n 8:30 a.m. Lutheran & East Side Memorial Cemetery

n 9:00 a.m. Oak Hill Cemetery

n 9.20 a.m. Central Avenue Bridge

n 9:50 a.m. Swan Lake Cemetery

Also, Father Merlin Schrad of St. Patrick's Catholic Church will conduct mass at the church at 9:15 a.m. as well as an Honor Guard Ceremony at the Catholic Cemetery at 10:10 a.m.

At the 11 a.m. service at the Readiness Center, Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Gene Haukoos, U.S. Navy Retired, will be the Master of Ceremonies. Pastor McCormick will provide the invocation, flag dedication and the benediction.

The members of the ELC band and the varsity choir will provide patriotic music.

The guest speaker is Captain Justin Wygle of the Iowa National Guard.

Craig Christensen 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) immediately after the ceremony.

Also, the Emmet County Courthouse will be open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. for viewing the 550 retired flags displayed there.

If you would like to have a loved one's flag removed from the courthouse and returned to the family please contact Gene Haukoos at 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 Haukoos before Memorial Day. Once the flags are taken down for the year it is almost impossible to retrieve the flag from storage.

On this the 149th 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.



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