Memorial Day in the Waseca area will be filled with a parade, performances by local students and with words in remembrance.
On Memorial Day, May 27, starting at 9 a.m. there will be be a short parade starting and ending at the courthouse followed by a program at the Waseca County Courthouse.
Some of the program consists of flag raising ceremonies, performances by the local high school band, an address by local attorney William Hoversten and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address given by Waseca High School student Chloe Armendariz.
“It’s one of Waseca County’s big to-dos; they really like it,” Veteran Services Officer Christopher Hinton said.
At the ceremony, Lieutenant Colonel Steven Jacobs and Master Sgt. Darla Jacobs, both retired, will perform the flag raising ceremonies followed by the Master of Ceremonies by Lamar Kuster, commander of Post 228 American Legion, Waseca.
Following the opening ceremonies of the program, there will be a prayer given by Pastor Larry Sipe.
The “Star Spangled Banner” will be sung by Waseca High School members, including Chloe Armendariz, Brianna Highum, Abril Mendoza, Olivia Wendland, Lilian Pagel, Clare Miller, Alexis Baumgarn, Isaac Terrell, Sawyer Macht, Rily Sylvester, Preston Foster, Logan Flom and Cole Halla.
After singing the “Star Spangled Banner” with the group, Armendariz will recite Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
“I’m really excited, it’s a really cool opportunity and I was honored to be asked, so I think it will be a really great opportunity for me,” Armendariz said.
Following Armendariz will be Hoversten giving the address. Both Hoverten’s father and uncle were in the military and he remembers that Memorial Day was always an important event to his parents, and even though they were working, they set aside time for remembrance.
“It’s an opportunity to try to bring everything in focus and remember why we’re all there and try to honor those people who have sacrificed a lot to give us the freedom that we have,” Hoversten said. “It’s usually a beautiful service and presentation and coming up on the dedication to the new memorial later this year, that will be a good.”
The American Legion Post 228 and American Legion 228 Auxiliary, VFW Post 1642 and VFW 1642 Auxiliary will be giving ceremonies at plaque following the address. The reading of the deceased Veterans for 2017-18 will be read by Commander Kuster followed by a moment of silence.
Jim Kozan will sing “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen and “Veterans Version” lyrics by SailorJerriMusic.com. Audience participation is asked for the remainder of the program. The songs “America” and “God Bless America” will be sung by those in attendance with the help of the band.
To close out the program, there will be a benediction given by Pastor Sipe and a salute from a rifle squad, plus Taps, performed by the Waseca High School band buglers.
Boy Scout Troop 85 and Cub Scout pack 86 will be present at the ceremony and will be putting out flags in the Woodville Cemetery in days prior to Memorial Day.
In the case of inclement weather, the program will be moved to the Waseca Junior Senior High School gym at 9:30 a.m. If there is a weather announcement on Memorial Day, it will be noted at ww.wasecacountynews.com and broadcast at 8 a.m. on Train 1170 AM or 106.3 FM. These stations will also broadcast the program.
Memorial Day books will also be available, listing most of the veterans of Waseca County. This is the 76th year the book has been printed; it is funded and put together by the Veteran Services Office.
“It’s a lot of work to do it, but we feel that it’s important that these veterans are memorialized and that they get the tribute they deserve,” Hinton said.
Waseca Art Center
The Waseca Art Center recommends reading local author Rachel Hanel’s book, “We’ll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down: Memoir of Gravedigger’s Daughter,” and visiting the cemeteries mentioned in the book for a Memorial Day activity.
Janesville will host its Memorial Day event from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton auditorium.
The Elysian American Legion will commemorate the day with stops at five locations before the final stop for the main ceremony at Cedar Hill Cemetery at 9:30 a.m. on Memorial Day.
The day starts at 7 a.m. at Greenland cemetery then to German Lake Cemetery at 7:20 a.m., St. Peter’s Bell cemetery at 7:55 a.m. then to Cannonville Cemetery at 8:10 and then the Waterville Post office at 9 a.m. before the final ceremony at 9:30 a.m.