Tag Archives: armed services

Celebrating Memorial Day in Siouxland, Le Mars

12 Jun
DAVE OTT, foreground, and other American Legion Wasmer Post 241 Honor Guard members fire a 21 gun salute as area residents and community members attend the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A member of the Armed Forces salutes during the presentation of the Colors as he and area residents and community members attend the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There are a number of places one can celebrate Memorial Day in Siouxland, remembering those who have and are serving along with loved ones who have passed on to a better place.

I always enjoy the ceremony in Le Mars, where this year another 40 some flags were added to the Avenue of Flags that dot the Plymouth County Courthouse lawn and this year the boulevards across the street. At one point in the program all of the names belonging to those flags that family members have donated are read. This year that number totaled over 1,400 names.

Dennis Britt’s wife, Joyce, and family donated a flag in his honor at the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
ROCKY BUNJES, of Le Mars, IA, and American Legion Wasmer Post 241 member served in the Army during the Vietnam war. Area residents and community members attend the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Dog tags hang from each flag as area residents and community members attend the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Not as many people attended this year as I have seen in the past. That is understandable. There is still residual dealings with the ongoing pandemic, while circumstances are getting better, a success over this health issue doesn’t seem to be here yet. But those that did attend found a nice day, with moderate temperature and light breeze that made celebrating a bit more joyous that a rainy, overcast and more somber type of day.

Family members and area residents attend the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Flags flutter from a breeze as area residents and community members attend the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Next yearI will probably visit another community during its remembrance. Sad in a way that so many remembrances are held, but good that people take the time out of a “holiday” to remember those who served their country and embraced a challenge when one arose.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

ISAAC JOHNSON of Le Mars, IA, reads a dog tag looking for the flag of his grandfather Jerry Johnson as he and other area residents and community members attend the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Area residents and community members attend the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Honoring Veterans in Siouxland, Winnebago, NE

29 May

During morning rain showers, veterans of the Winnebago Tribe and members of American Legion Post 363 La Mere Greencrow Rice, JACK LAMERE (Coast Guard) center left,JERRY LAMERE (Navy) second from left, RANDY DE CORA (Air Force) third from left and TAYLOR BASS (Army) right, stand at attention for Taps played by sstudent and tribe member ALEXANDER FLANDERS as they make up an Honor Guard to commemorate other tribal members during Memorial Day services at area cemeteries that included two family cemeteries, the Winnebago Cemetery and the St. Augustine Mission Cemetery, Monday May 27, 2019 near Winnebago, NE (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

I had the privilege on Memorial Day of spending time with veterans of the Winnebago Tribe from Winnebago, NE as they visited four cemeteries to honor other tribal members who served their country. It was a very wet and soggy day, but these four men and others were not bothered by the inclement weather. And the settings of the cemeteries was very bucolic adding to the atmosphere of the overcast and solemn occasion.

During morning rain showers, veterans of the Winnebago Tribe and members of American Legion Post 363 La Mere Greencrow Rice, JACK LAMERE (Coast Guard) left , JERRY LAMERE (Navy) center, TAYLOR BASS (Army) right and Randy De Cora (Air Force) not seen, make up an Honor Guard to commemorate other tribal members during Memorial Day services at area cemeteries that included two family cemeteries, the Winnebago Cemetery and the St. Augustine Mission Cemetery, Monday May 27, 2019 near Winnebago, NE (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

 

During morning rain showers, local college student Winnebago Tribe member ALEXANDER FLANDERS plays taps while JAMES FRENCHMAN holds an umbrella as veterans of the Winnebago Tribe and members of American Legion Post 363 La Mere Greencrow Rice, commemorate other tribal members during Memorial Day services at area cemeteries, Monday May 27, 2019 near Winnebago, NE (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

A number of other area remembrances were moved indoors for these ceremonies. Bad weather does deter people from attending, but standing in the rain and watching and listening as these men and others remembered their fellow tribal members it became apparent that the outdoor ceremony was all the more important. Man of these remembered had made the ultimate sacrifice and inclement weather was of little consequence to those attending for what they celebrated.

Grave sties of the St. Augustine Mission Cemetery where veterans of the Winnebago Tribe served as an Honor Guard to celebrate other tribal members during Memorial Day services at area cemeteries, Monday May 27, 2019 near Winnebago, NE (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

On such solemn occasions as this and others that America holds to celebrate past achievements and sacrifices it seems that more Americans should not mind spending a few minutes in quiet contemplation of what others have done so they can enjoy living and working in a place that holds promise. And with each passing rain storm, a little light does appear brightening the day and giving a little credence to that promise of a better tomorrow.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The sun finally shines through the clouds as veterans of the Winnebago Tribe and members of American Legion Post 363 La Mere Greencrow Rice, JERRY LAMERE (Navy) left, JACK LAMERE (Coast Guard) second from left, TAYLOR BASS (Army) and RANDY DE CORA (Air Force), make up an Honor Guard to commemorate other tribal members during Memorial Day services at area cemeteries that included two family cemeteries, the Winnebago Cemetery and the St. Augustine Mission Cemetery, Monday May 27, 2019 near Winnebago, NE (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

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