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Traveling Wall schedule of events set

Opening ceremonies for the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall will be held Thursday, June 4 at 11 a.m. the Charles D. Center Post 3289 of New York Mills will provide the Color Guard.

The Pledge of Allegiance will be led by the Charles D. Center Ladies Auxiliary 3289 of New York Mills, and the National Anthem will be played by the New York Mills High School Band under the direction of Blake Groe. Larry Hodgson, Mayor of New York Mills, will give a welcoming address. Guest speaker for the morning ceremonies will be Ryan Stout, pastor of St. Peter's Lutheran Church in New York Mills. Terry Frost, Iraqi Freedom Veteran from New York Mills, will read "Why I Went to War," followed by closing music by the New York Mills High School Band.

Afternoon ceremonies will begin at 4:30 p.m. with the Color Guard of VFW Post 3289. Kurt Weber, a high school senior currently serving in the National Guard will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and the Anthem will be sung by the New York Mills 2nd-graders.

Benediction will be given by Rev. Jon Hakaana. Guest speaker for the afternoon will be John Allen, a representative of the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall. Lauren Bach, a student at New York Mills, will read her Voice of Democracy essay. Emaleigh Roberts, a 9th-grader New York Mills High School, was the winner of the Patriot Pen Essay and will also read.

In the evening, at 7 p.m., the Wadena Area Community Band, under the direction of John Lindlief, will present a concert of marches and concert band music. Selections for the concert will include "The Star Spangled Banner", "Minnesota March", "Let the Spirit Soar", "El Capitan", "Lead On", "O King Eternal", "A Hymn for Band", "Stars and Stripes Forever", "Just a closer Walk with Thee", and "Armed Forces Salute".


The Elmer Goche Post 3922 of Wadena will post the colors at 11 a.m. and John Knight will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and read the POW prayer on June 5. The Anthem will be sung by the New York Mills High School wrestling cheerleaders. Guest speakers will include Vietnam veterans Loren Skarie and Minnesota State Commander Stan Kowalski. Lin Bentrup of Wadena will sing the Battle Hymm of the Republic. Kayna Beil, 11th-grader at New York Mills, will read "The Story of TAPS".

Friday afternoon ceremonies will be opened at 4:30 p.m. by the Color Guard from the Military Order of the Cooties. The Pledge will be led by 4H Ambassadors and Dianna Porath will sing the Star Spangled Banner. Invocation will be led by Rev. Burt Benson, Past Military Chaplain and member of Civil Air Patrol. The New York Mills Drama Club will present "We Are One". Eric Monson, a member of Wadena FFA, will read "The Wall from the Other Side". Guest speakers for the afternoon will be Vietnam Veteran Gary Robinson of New York Mills and Dave Coalwell of Detroit Lakes.


The day's events will will open at 11 a.m. with the Color Guard from Heart O' Lakes Post 7702 of Frazee. The New York Mills Girl Scouts will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and Shawn and Virginia Creek will sing the National Anthem, followed by readings by members of the New York Mills Auxiliary. Guest speakers will include Tim Bauer and State Commander Stan Kowalski. The afternoon ceremonies at 4:30 will be opened by the Color Guard from White Earth. Guest speakers will be veteran Joe Potter and Nancy Waller. Other events include special music by Larry Selandar.


At 11 a.m., activities will be opened by the Color Guard of Rasmusson-Schedowski Post 4020 of Perham. Millie Lauer, Chair of the 9th District Ladies Auxiliary, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. The Imsande/Clarksean family will sing the "Star Spangled Banner." Guest speaker will be Vietnam Veteran Alan "Lindy" Linda of New York Mills. Arles Kumpula will give the reading, "A Man Isn't Dead Until He is Forgotten".

Sunday afternoon at 4:30 the Anthem will be led by Paul Schik and the benediction given by Fr. Joe Herzing of St. Henry's Catholic Church in Perham. Guest speakers will include Vietnam Veteran Bill Rose and Col. Allen of the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall. Hope Baldwin will give the reading, "No Freedom Isn't Free". Gary Bach will sing "Soldier Boy" and the Praise Group from Trinity will sing "As You Go on Your Way".


All events are free and open to the public. "The Wall" will arrive on June 3 with an escort led by the Patriot Guard. The motorcade will form up around 1 p.m. at Super 8 in Perham and travel east on Highway 10 until it reaches the New York Mills VFW around 2 p.m. Volunteer crews will work through the night to install the 80 percent size replica (370 feet long and 8 1/2 feet tall). Guards will be posted 24 hours a day. Volunteers will be on site from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to assist visitors in finding specific names on The Wall. A shuttle will be provided between the New York Mills Post 3289 and the ITOW Veterans Museum in Perham.

The Traveling Wall contains all 58,253 of the American Military personnel who were direct casualties of the war, including about 1,300 who are still considered Missing in Action. The Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall has been made possible by the contributions and hard work of many individuals and businesses.

For more information call 218-385-3510 or 218-346-7678 or visit

(Information for this article provided by Lina Belar of the In Their Own Words Veterans Museum.)