MEMORIAL DAY 2021: Entire Grand Forks Ceremony

GRAND FORKS, ND ( Watch the entire 2021 Memorial Day Ceremony from Memorial Park North Cemetery in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
[Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] foreign [Music] so [Music] [Music] [Music] foreign [Music] so [Music] um [Music] so [Music] easy [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] foreign [Music] [Music] oh [Music] [Music] [Music] [Applause] so [Music] so [Music] good [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Applause] [Applause] you’re fine it doesn’t get any better than this we want to thank the grand forks city band for their sharing their talents with us today so thank you so much good morning and welcome to today’s memorial day ceremony i’m michael brown commander american legion post 6 in grand forks we’re pleased to have you join us in memory of the men and women who in service to our nation secure the freedoms we enjoy today every year there are three official days that recognize a veteran soldier sailor airman and marine the first is armed forces day when those in uniform and serving on active duty and those in defense of our country are recognized the second is veteran’s day when those who have separated from service or retired having since hung up their uniforms are duly recognized and lastly it’s memorial day when those that who were never able to hang up their uniforms are remembered for their ultimate sacrifice in their country’s service as we gather as a community of varied backgrounds and cultures today’s ceremony also consists of volunteers from your grand forks american legion post 6 and grand forks american legion auxiliary our guest speaker this morning is the distinguished adjuvant erica claussen of sally we appreciate the valued ceremony assistance of the grand forks air force base honor guard which is behind me the support from poplar’s music by providing our sound system the music of the grand forks all-city band that’s conducted by mr don langley mr herb thompson for singing for stingling taps and corey wenzel joe bowen sydney mook and pam knutson from the grand forks herald for providing media coverage as always kudos to mr robin purcell for especially preparing the cemetery for today’s ceremony please rise for the presentations of the colors and the playing of our national anthem and our invocation by our grand first american legion post-6 chaplain paul robinette detail present the colors um [Music] [Music] foreign [Music] me [Music] so oh almighty god we thank thee for the opportunities which abide in our land for thy guidance and the hour of peril and thy tender love in times of need help us to remember with reverence the valor and devotion of our departed comrades whose bodies rest here may we also remember those beyond the seas and those whose resting places will not be known until the last day when the deep will have given up instead teach us to honor them by ever cherishing the ideals from which they fought keep us steadfast in the cause of human rights and liberties of law and order and true americanism give us the power to see in the will to do the right keep us forever firm in righteousness humble of heart and unselfish in amen thank you thank you chaplain robinette now ladies and gentlemen please be seated junior american legion auxiliary member unit six alexis kramer please share with us the readings of in flanders field and in flanders field and answer alexa field the poppies blow between the crosses row on row that mark our place and in the sky the large still bravely singing fly scares amid the guns below we are the dead short days ago we lived fell down saw sunset glow loved and were loved and now we lie in flanders field take up our quarrel with the foe to take you from failing hands we throw the torch be yours to hold it high if ye break faith with us who die we shall not sleep through poppies grow in flanders food the cannons boom and fitful flashes light the gloom while up above the eagles fly the fierce destroyers of the sky with stains of the earth where you can you lie is rather than the poppy bloom in flanders field sleep on your brave the shrieking shell the quaking trench the startling yell the fear of the battle hell shall wake you not for all is well sleep peacefully for all as well a flaming torch beloft we bear with burning heart and oath we swear to keep the faith to fight it through to crush the foe or sleep with you and flanders thank you mr jake anderson please issue general logan’s memorial day orders general logan’s memorial day orders headquarters grand army of the republic washington d.c may 5 1868 general orders number 11. the 30th of may 1868 is designated for the purpose of strewing flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in the defense of their country during the late rebellion and whose bodies now lie in almost every city village and hamlet churchyard in the land in this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit we are organized comrades as our regulations tell us for the purpose among other things of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers sailors and marines united to suppress the late rebellion we can aid more to assure their this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead who made their breaths a barricade between our country and its foes their soldier lads were the revelee of freedom to erase and chains and their deaths a tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms we should guide their graves with sacred guard their graves graves with sacred vigilance all that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to you to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders but no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds but pleasant vandalism of abbers the pheasant pants invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners let no vandalism of avarice or neglect no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic if other eyes grow dull and other hands slack another heart’s cold in solemn trust our shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us let us then at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choices flowers of springtime let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those who may have left among us as a sacred charge upon the nation’s gratitude the soldiers and sailors widow and orphan it is the purpose of the commander-in-chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year while the survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades he earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this order and lend its friendly aid in bringing to bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance there with the department commanders will use every effort to make this order effective by command of john a logan commander in chief thank you thank you mr gunderson please remain standing as we reflect on the sacrifices by the men and women during the past wars and conflicts joan smith and jackie sadler will present each read the grand army of the republic spanish-american war world war one world war ii korean war vietnam war grenada lebanon panama persian gulf war iraq and afghanistan conflicts the global war on terror and all who perished on land sea or air thank you miss dead moyarty will now cast the wreath upon the waters [Music] ladies and gentlemen please be seated auxiliary member diane knox please share with us the reading of cover them over as diane cramer and gabriel cramer distribute the poppies this morning i’m going to read a poem that was written in the late 1800s by a will carlton and again covered cover them over with beautiful flowers cover them over with beautiful flowers deck them with garlands those brothers of ours lying so silent by night and by day sleeping the years of their manhood away give them the meat that they have won in the past give them the honors their future forecast give them the chaplets they won in the strife give them the laurels they lost with their life cover them over yes cover them over parent and husband brother and lover crown in your hearts these dead heroes of ours cover them over with beautiful flowers cover the hearts that have beaten so high beaten with hope that we’re doomed but to die hearts that have burned in the heat of the fray parts that have yearned for the home far away once they were glowing and with friendship and love now their great souls have gone soaring above briefly their blood to the nation they gave then in her bosom they found them a grave cover the thousands who sleep far away sleep with their friends and family cannot find them today they who in mountain and hillside and dell rest where they wearied and lie where they fell softly the grass blades creep round their roofs sweetly above them the wildflower explose zephyrs of freedom fly gently overhead whispering prayers for the patriots dead when the long years have rolled slowly away into the dawn of earth’s funeral day when at the angels loud trumpet and tread rise up the faces and forms of the dead when the great world its last judgment awaits when the blue skies shall fling open its gates and our lung columns march silently through past the great captain for final review blessings for garland shall cover them over parent and husband brother and lover god will reward these dead heroes of ours cover them over with beautiful flowers so thank you diane now our old adjuvant erica klaus dumsali will present our memorial day address erica klaus navsali has served our country for over 28 years she’s held various logistic positions in serving on active duty with u.s air force including commissary specialists sports director for fitness centers and managing dining facility operations eric has also many deployments under her belt guantanamo bay cuba ryan mayan air force base germany ali al salaam kuwait misawa air force base japan escan village saudi arabia and al udeid air force base in qatar she was selected to work at the grand park’s air force base readiness section to train military members before their deployments after 21 years of service erica retired from the enlisted ranks and transferred to government civil service for today she still performs as a member of the grand forks rivers based commander’s support staff eric is still active in multiple veteran organizations to include the american legion veterans of foreign wars 40 8 american veterans and she still makes time for the community organizations arts for events and love in action erica thirty years ago america engaged in a new war in volatile region iraq had invaded the sovereign nation of kuwait it was an act of aggression that could not stand the united states led a coalition of 35 nations with a bold and clear mission to liberate an occupied country among the half million us troops deployed to the middle east was army specialist cindy baudwin a freshman at the university of connecticut specialist beaudoin enlisted in the national guard and served as a medic with the 142nd medical group the hartford current newspaper from her hometown reported that the young specialist had a chronic back condition that could have kept her from during the deployment the daughter of a vietnam veteran cindy would hear none of it of course i’m going silly i couldn’t let my best buddy go alone she told a fellow friend and service member on february 28 1991 just hours after president george h.w bush declared a ceasefire to end the gulf war specialist cindy godwin was killed in action after her convoy struck a land wine she was only 19. like many soldiers going to war specialist bodwin wrote a letter to be delivered to her parents in the event that she did return i did not come here to be a hero she wrote i came here because my country needed me to be here as much as i hate being so far away from home i’m here with thousands of other soldiers helping to bring down a very deranged tyrant if i should die while helping to achieve this that i did not die in vain sydney bournemouth did not die in vain and neither did any of our other americans who we honor on a memorial day nonetheless wars are often unpopular there’s a good reason for this it was union general william t sherman who said it is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood more vengeance more desolation war is help but we should always remember that the decisions led to war are not are those of policy makers not the veterans themselves sometimes the mission is clear cut in world war ii millions were liberated and truly evil regimes were toppled the price can still be unbelievably painful as willie and emma labrish experienced the jewish couple fled nazi germany from new york city with her two young sons flirty man known as also as ferdi and alfred in 1938 seven years later the brothers enlisted in the army and made the supreme sacrifice for their new country while fighting the germans in europe ferdi was killed by a sniper bullet after he was trying to save five wounded soldiers their parents tried to get alfred to come back home but alfred was killed three weeks later alan khan cousin of the brothers said to escape from germany and then having their only two children go back and die in germany fighting against the nazis that’s just a tragedy in his book brothers in arms author kevin callahan noted the memory of those two brave brothers who escaped nazi germany only to perish in its destruction lives on and that is why we are here today to recall not just the memories of sydney baudwin and the laborish brothers but to honor the sacrifices made by the one million heroes who have died while defending this country since the american revolution and that sacrifice is painfully shared by the gold star families and close friends of these heroes most of us will not truly understand the depths of their despair unless we have experienced it but we can always offer our support we can wear the poppy we can place flags and wreaths at their graves we can donate to charities that provide for their families and we can look at their surviving brothers and sisters in arms and say thank you for your service and thank you for your sacrifice our organization the american legion recognizes that when rounds are coming there is no such thing as a small war more than 1 600 americans have lost their lives fighting in the covert operations and cold war battles that occurred between the designated war periods since the attack on pearl harbor we honor their sacrifices as much as we honor those lost on iwo jima and the frozen choices for 100 years the preamble of the constitution of the american legion stated that our commitment to preserve the memories and incidences of our associations in the great war and later the great wars this wording was a natural outcome for an organization that was founded by world war one veterans and succeeded by equally committed world war ii veterans in 2019 we changed our preamble yet again we now promise to preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in all wars we are here today to honor all our fallen heroes who died in fallujah and the philippines kesan and kandahar and bravirut and granada just to name a few locations we honor american heroes from the american revolution through the global war on terrorism and every battle in between the location is unimportant it is the hearts of these men and women that truly matter it is a devotion within that led them to sacrifice their lives for the country that we all love it is hard for us the living to equate ourselves with those who made such a sacrifice the surviving loved ones do not have to look very far to find their heroes a specialist beaudrin wrote to her parents when you start to miss me look into your hearts and you will find me we should all look into our hearts we may not only find our heroes but we can examine what type of country we live in no matter what critics can say about america can a nation that produces such remarkable men and women be anything but a force of good can we do more to create a country as worthy of such a sacrifice can we insist that our policy makers always consider the true cost of their decisions and only send men and women to war when all other options have been fully considered war is often not the best policy but the heroes of wars produce are the best in america thank you for being here god bless you and god bless america [Applause] thank you erica for those words that reinforce why we’re taking times of our busy lives today to pause and reflect and say thank you for the people that made sacrifices run up [Music] please [Music] [Music]

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *