Rosemount Memorial Day service continues to growHundreds of Rosemount residents gather at Rosemount's Central Park every year to pay tribute to soldiers who have lost their lives serving their country. This year's ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. Monday.
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
The Veteran’s Memorial in Central Park is solemn and simple. On it are the names of the men from Rosemount who have died defending the United States of America as members of the Armed Forces.
On May 28 hundreds of residents will gather at the granite monument to honor those dead and others who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“Memorial Day is a day to pay tribute and remember those who sacrificed everything for our country,” said VFW Post 9433 commander David Gary.
Gary will act as the master of ceremonies for the event that seems to grow a little bigger each year. When the event first started, Gary said, only a couple dozen people turned out. Last year, more than 250 crowded into Central Park for the service.
This year’s Memorial Day Service will start at 9 a.m. May 28 in Central Park. Maj. Kristen Auge, an Iraq War veteran, will give the keynote address. Fr. Paul Jarvis, from the Church of St. Joseph, will give the invocation. And the 34th Infantry Division “Red Bulls” Band will perform before and during the service, including the hymn of each branch of the military.
Afterward there will be a ringing of the bell in honor of those who have lost loved ones and a laying of the wreath. A rifle salute will conclude the service.
After the completion of the service, people will head out to the cemeteries to decorate graves. The procession will begin at St. Joseph’s Cemetery and then go onto Rosemount, Highland, Lebanon, Rich Valley and Pine Bend cemeteries.
Following the graveside visits lunch will be served at the American Legion Post 65. The free meal will be provided by the Sons of the American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary and the VFW Men’s and Women’s Auxiliaries.
While he knows people are excited to have an extra day off from school and work, Gary said he hopes they will take a little time to pay tribute.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs three years after the Civil War ended the head of a Union veterans organization established Decoration Day to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. The first large observance was held in 1868 at Arlington National Cemetery.
By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were held on May 30 in most states. After World War I the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday. At that time it was decided to hold it on the last Monday in May.
In December 2000, Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act.” The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.