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'A day of thanksgiving'

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Veterans stand as they are applauded during their respective military branch songs. (Republican Eagle photos by Amanda Greenwood)2 / 4
Red Wing Mayor Dan Bender presents his remarks during Monday’s Memorial Day service. 3 / 4
Bay Point Park in Red Wing was full of lawn chairs, flags, uniforms and members of the Red Wing High School ovation choir and concert band in honor of Memorial Day. 4 / 4

Red Wing Mayor Dan Bender addressed a full audience at Bay Point Park on Monday morning for the annual Memorial Day services, saying, “In a way, this is a day of thanksgiving.”

Bender, a Navy veteran, thanked fellow servicemen from all branches of the military and also his grandfather, a WWI veteran, and father, a WWII veteran, who instilled in him “common-sense value and dedication to country.”

He also expressed gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice paid by fallen heroes who “gave all they had, all they could be, all that they were, all that they were to become” so that we could “create this nation of many blessings.”

Community involvement was proposed as a way to observe Memorial Day and express thankfulness for freedoms citizens enjoy in Red Wing and around the nation.

Bender offered two questions regarding community involvement: 1) what are the needs of the community? And 2) what can we do to help?

He concluded his Memorial Day remarks with “To whom much is given, much is required,” which can be found in Luke 12:48.

‘Lest we forget’ Monday morning brought clear skies and summery humidity for the services along the Mississippi.

Memorial Day observance began early with the Veterans Memorial Service at 8:15 a.m.

Events of the veterans service included the laying of the wreath by the Color Guard (434th Chemical Co.) and Joyce Moldonado (Army veteran); a prayer by Pastor Karl Rydholm of United Lutheran Church; an all-unite salute and a firing squad salute, commanded by Doug Wendlandt.

Bay Point services began at 8:45 a.m. with an invocation, raising of the flag and musical pieces by the Red Wing High School ovation choir.

The RWHS concert band also played musical interludes and members Yue Pheng Xiong and Michael Diercks performed Taps.

William Christianson was this year’s master of ceremonies, introducing the order of events and key attendees, including Grand Marshall Sgt. Eddie Anderson (434th Chemical Co. soldier of the year), Honorary Grand Marshall Lew Fiero (Marine Corps veteran) and Moldonado (woman veteran).

The 2014 main address was presented by Lyman “Robby” Robinson Jr., the Goodhue County veterans service officer.

“It is not a time for sorrow,” Robinson said, emphasizing that he is thankful “this nation produces pride enough to lay down one’s life.”

“It is our patriotic duty to honor those who have fallen so that we can be free,” he said.

Honorary tributes, salutes and readings, including the names of the departed comrades, completed the commemorative ceremony.

Memorial Day committee members include Dave Birkenmayer, John Cain, Christianson, Daryl Duden, Julianne Freij, Karen Hemenway, Bill Naseth, John Selkirk Jr., Doug Wendlant and Harold Wipperling.