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By Staff | May 18, 2018

In just a little over one week, we will be observing Memorial Day, a day in which we as U.S. citizens remember and honor those in our armed forces who died while serving our country. It is a day to pay our solemn respect to those who sacrificed with their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom and liberties we have today. It is something we should not take lightly or for granted. It is something we should try and think about every day, not just on Memorial Day. We owe those who we remember on this day, including our POWs and MIAs, at least this much.

I encourage all of you to attend a Memorial Day service. For those attending our Pierce County service at Memorial Hall, you will witness a special addition to the program this year. At this service, three additional names will be added and remembered on our Memorial Wall just outside the building. Two of these war casualties are from WWI and one from the Vietnam War. Special thanks go to Dale Niewoehner for doing the research needed to add these names. Also, a thank you goes to Rugby American Legion Post 23, our Pierce County Recorder staff, and all others involved who helped make this happen. This addition of names to our Memorial Wall is again a reminder of the patriotism, humble gratitude, and love of country demonstrated by the residents of Pierce County. On this day, we are once again acknowledging that whether 50 years have passed since Vietnam, or 100 years since WWI, we will not forget the ultimate sacrifice made by our local heroes. No matter the amount of time passed, we will continue to find ways to remember and honor them.

So again, this Memorial Day, let us recommit ourselves to remember all those who gave their life for our country. May God bless their memory, their sacrifice and may we live our lives in a way to honor them and worthy of the sacrifice they have made for us.

I would like to close this column with a quote from December of 1862. It was during this time President Lincoln called for 75,000 troops to support the Union at the beginning of the Civil War. Although Minnesota was the newest state in the union, it was the first to volunteer 1000 soldiers to the cause. In December of 1862, the First Regiment of Minnesota Volunteers was preparing to leave Fort Snelling for the battle ground in the east. Realizing they did not have the flag of the new state, Governor Alexander Ramsey had his wife, Anna I. Ramsey, present them with the Minnesota flag to take with them. Upon presenting them with the flag she then spoke these eloquent words. The words she chose indicated her hope they would safely return. I have slightly changed these words to reflect those who did not return and to all those, from all wars, that we remember today.

“To you is reserved a proud destiny. When the troubles that agitate the nation have passed, when the rebellion is suppressed, and once more peace folds her white wings among us, you will receive that praise and gratitude which you have nobly earned, and in after years, amid the avocations of peaceful lives, men will remember you and say: There is one who when his country’s liberty was in danger, abandoned everything and rushed to her rescue. There was a soldier of the great Army of Freedom.”

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