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Lanesboro American Legion remembers American heroes


By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, May 31st, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Features

Lanesboro American Legion members carry out a gun firing salute to pay tribute to America’s fallen heroes. Photo by Mitchell Walbridge

On the morning of Memorial Day, communities, American Legion posts from around the country, and similar organizations commemorate the country’s military heroes who no longer with us. The community of Lanesboro, Minn., American Legion Post #40, the American Legion Sons, and the women of the Lanesboro Auxiliary did the same in its annual Memorial Day service held in the Lanesboro Community Center.

In a program lead by Lanesboro Legion Commander Deane Benson, veterans and the public gathered for song, prayer, and remembrance of the fallen service men and women. The Lanesboro High School Band began the program with the National Anthem while the flags were presented. The band also performed a piece titled “The Normandy Carol.”

Three Lanesboro High School seniors, Kirsten Ruen, Megan Kiehne, and Michael Holst, were also present to give reflections on America from the experience of their senior class trip to Washington, D.C.

This year’s guest speaker for the program was Lanesboro High School’s principal, Brett Clarke. Clarke is originally from South Dakota but now resides in Fountain, Minn. Although Clarke does not have a military background, he is familiar with what it is like to be part of a family where service to our country is not uncommon.

Recently, at his 100th family reunion, Clarke discovered that he had numerous relatives in addition to his father who dedicated their service to the security and prosperity of the United States.

In his speech, Clarke recognized that there is a difference between Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, but also explained that they are closely linked as, “The veterans and those closest to our nation’s heroes are those who make sure legacies live on.”

Clarke also explained the importance of expressing gratitude to our veterans and those who serve our country. “Credit was not the objective even though it is well deserved,” he said, “Greatness is all around us, and it’s up to us to recognize it.”

Clarke concluded his speech with the theme, “See a need, fill a need,” meaning that even though we may not be serving by military action, each of us has a civic responsibility to better our country.

Following the program, Legion members proceeded outside of the Community Center for the gun firing salute and the playing of taps as the Boy and Girl Scouts and other children laid flowers on the displayed crosses.

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