Area residents will once again have ample opportunities to publicly observe Memorial Day this Monday, May 30.

In Glenwood, the annual Memorial Day service is set to begin at 10 a.m. at Central Square Historic Auditorium.  Vietnam veteran Gordy Wagner will once again serve as Master of Ceremonies.  The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars will advance the colors.

The keynote address will be given by Craig Swenson.  

Memorial Day readings will be done by John Messenger and Jim Thoreen.  There will be musical selections performed by Ava Chevalier  and Randy Pederson, accompanied by Amy VanZee.  The program will also include a roll call of recently deceased veterans and Pastor Yolanda Williams will provide the Invocation and the Benediction.  The service will also recognize veterans from all branches of the armed services and there will be a parade immediately following the service.  

A free-will offering lunch will be served at the Village Inn immediately following the parade.


The annual Memorial Day program gets underway at 10:30 a.m. at the Starbuck City Park.  The main address will be given by Pastor Fran Hill.  If inclement weather, the program will be moved to the Starbuck Community Center.


Area Villard residents will hold a Memorial Day service at Lake Amelia Cemetery starting at 9:30 a.m. If inclement weather, the program will be held at the Villard United Methodist Church. 


The annual Memorial Day program will be held at the Lowry Community Center starting at 10:30 a.m.  A free-will luncheon will follow the program at the Lowry Legion Post 253.

Grove Lake

The community of Grove Lake asks that all veterans join for a service at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 29. Kids will be placing flowers on veteran’s graves and then proceed to the park for a short program.  There will be a dessert stand available after the parade.  

A brief history of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers.

By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.

Why a poppy?

In 1915, following the Second Battle of Ypres, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a physician with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, wrote the poem, “In Flanders Fields”. Its opening lines refer to the fields of poppies that grew among the soldiers’ graves in Flanders.