Tag Archives: memorial day

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©)

Honoring Siouxland’s Veterans, Quimby

7 Jun

This past Memorial Day I visited a cemetery outside the small Siouxland community of Quimby, which has a population or around 300 people.

Members of the Quimby American Legion Post 398 stand at attention during the playing of Taps at a Memorial Day service at Grandview Cemetery south of Quimby Iowa. Members include from left Ken Hasellhoff, Tim Preuss, Terry Sargent, Commander Ron Bush and Richard Ravnsborg Monday May 28, 2018. Bush said as members die, there are fewer remaining members in the Post to participate in various ceremonies. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Having worked for newspapers a number of years, I have attended many Memorial Day services.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a large service attended by hundreds or a small service, the impact is always the same, the reverence for those who serve.

What struck me though this Memorial Day is the number of veterans who form the Color Guard. In talking with the Quimby American Legion Post Commander Ron Bush, the number of local veterans available for such duty is dwindling. This year’s event members were performing “double duty” since there were only five of them.

Retiring the Colors after a Memorial Day service are Quimby American Legion Post 398 members from left, Ken Hasellhoff, Tim Preuss and Terry Sargent, at Grandview Cemetery south of Quimby Iowa, Monday May 28, 2018. Post Commander Ron Bush said as older post members die, it becomes harder to find locals who served to fulfill the need of ceremonies like Memorial Day and burial details. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Members of the Quimby American Legion Post 398 fire a gun salute during the Memorial Day service at Grandview Cemetery south of Quimby Iowa. Members include from left Ken Hasellhoff, Tim Preuss, Terry Sargent, Commander Ron Bush and Richard Ravnsborg Monday May 28, 2018. Bush said as members die, there are fewer remaining members in the Post to participate in various ceremonies. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As the current members get older and pass away, there seems to be fewer available veterans in small communities to fill their positions to honor their fellow service men and women and attend other activities such as high school football games where most times there is a presentation of the flag before the game starts and during the playing of the National Anthem.

No one I have talked with over the years about this particular situation seems to have an answer. Only concerns. And one wonders who will be present when their time comes and they are laid to rest, to honor them with a Color Guard and pay respect.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Quimby American Legion Post 398 members Terry Sargent left and Post Commander Ron Bush attach another flag dedicated to an area resident who served in the military during the Memorial Day service at Grandview Cemetery south of Quimby Iowa, Monday May 28, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A quiet rural scene commemorates a Memorial Day service conducted by the Quimby American Legion Post 398 at Grandview Cemetery south of Quimby Iowa, Monday May 28, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Honoring those who serve from Siouxland, Le Mars

7 Jun

A week ago the entire nation paid tribute to those who have served in this country’s military, and for some paid the ultimate price. There really isn’t much more for me to add to what many others have said except thank you to those who have and are serving. In Siouxland a Memorial Observance is held in many communities. Again this year I attended the ceremony in Le Mars, Iowa. Similar to last year‘s ceremony, it honors and remembers those from the area. It is just a nice ceremony and every year more flags are added to those displayed around the Plymouth County Courthouse dedicated by families and friends of those who have served.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Honoring those who serve in Siouxland, Marcus

29 May

I went for a drive Sunday afternoon to get out and look around as spring moves into summer and the lure of bright, puffy clouds in a blue sky was also alluring. I drove a ways and ended up in Marcus, Iowa. I had visited this small community once before during a summer fair. The community was quiet, but decorated for honoring those who serve on Memorial Day. And these folks will honor those from their community and surrounding area who answered a call to serve their country. Every year, and other times throughout the year these people are honored. But sometimes on wonders if that is enough in recognizing their service.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Memorial Day in a Siouxland community, Le Mars

26 May

Over the years I have attended a number of Memorial Day events covering them for newspapers. Each one has its own “flavor” and some seem more successful than others. I remember a Memorial Day parade in Louisiana and it consisted of two floats. It was sad, and no one turned out to watch which was even sadder. But I photographed it in such a way that you couldn’t really tell. And later a police officer I was acquainted with told me later it was a kind thing I had done.

Memorial Day is a remembrance day for those who serve and have served their country. No matter the politics surrounding certain events or the various parties spouting their factious rhetoric, that day is to honor those who step up, either enlisting, or being drafted as was done during the Vietnam conflict. This weekend I attended the Le Mars, Iowa, Avenue of Flags Memorial Day. It is an event that is truly on the next level. At the Plymouth County Courthouse flags of those who have passed are planted in the soil. The flags are donated by family members of the service members and the names of those from the community who have a flag representing their service covers all conflicts, domestic and foreign, beginning with the Civil War and continuing through the current War of Terror, are read out loud. This year 1,229 names were read. And another 37 names were added to the list with flags being donated this year.

It is with a sense of community pride that Le Mars honors its war dead and the sacrifice they gave to their fellow citizens. Produced by the American Legion Post 241, one of its members told me that all the flags are erected within one and one half hours because so many community members volunteer to help get them up.

It was a nice way to begin the day and honor those who serve.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Memorial Day remembrance in Siouxland community

23 May

Memorial Day will be here in another day and with it the beginning of summer. But Memorial Day is more than the start of summer vacation for school kids, it is remembering those dear to us, those who have served their country and for some, a time to reflect and honor those who gave all and continue to do so.

Salix, Iowa is a small community in Siouxland. Some houses, a defunct grain elevator, a quiet downtown area and a Catholic church. The church’s cemetery is small, but like all cemeteries, is decorated with American flags flying to remind all who pass that it is time to remember, and to take time to reflect.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Siouxland remembers Memorial Day, Sioux City

1 Jun

This past week the American Legion Riders of the Morningside American Legion Monahan-Nelson Post 64 remembered its namesake, Edward H. Monahan, for whom the original post was named. Pvt. Monahan served in the Army during WWI and was killed in action. This was the first, but now not the last time, that post members will ride to his grave in Calvary Cemetery where he was buried to be remembered on Memorial Day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

 

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