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Memorial Day service set for Monday morning

When the Rosemount VFW and American Legion posts started holding a Memorial Day event only a few dozen people turned out. Each year, though, the event has drawn more and more people to Central Park to pay tribute to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

Last year the event drew hundreds.

The annual remembrance ceremony is held at the foot of the city's Veteran's Memorial. The black stone is simple and solemn. Etched in it are the names of the men from Rosemount who have died defending the United States of America as members of the Armed Forces.

VFW Post 9433 Commander Marvin Jansma said on May 27 residents, many of whom are veterans, will gather again at the granite monument to honor those lost.

This year's Memorial Day Service will start at 9 a.m. Dick Carroll, a World War II veteran and prisoner of war, will be the keynote speaker. VFW member David Gary will be the master of ceremonies.

The 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" Band will perform before and during the service, including the hymn of each branch of the military.

Afterwards there will be the ringing of a bell in honor for 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 at 10 a.m. and then go on to Rosemount Cemetery at 10:15 a.m., Highland Cemetery at 10:35 a.m., Lebanon Cemetery at 11 a.m., Rich Valley Cemetery at 11:20 a.m. and Pine Bend Cemetery at 11:40 a.m.

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 Legion Women's Auxiliary and the VFW Men's and Women's Auxiliaries.

History of Memorial Day

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 according to the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

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.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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