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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Wednesday June 12th 2024

146th Memorial Day at Cemetery celebrated and mourned veterans

Colonel Hetherington spoke those words at the 146th Memorial Day gathering at Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery. It was, as Memorial Day, is intended to be a day of both celebration and mourning. The achievements of the many who have served in the military were acknowledged against the backdrop of those who did not return to their family and friends. From the American Revolution to the present time over one million young men and women did not return.

There are about 200 veterans buried in Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery. They did not die in combat but many of them died young, often from diseases or wounds that they contracted while in service. 

Five new military markers acknowledge service of Civil War and Spanish-American War veterans

Last week four Civil War veterans and one Spanish-American War veteran received new military markers. Of those five markers, only one was a replacement, the rest other graves were marked for the first time. The five soldiers are: Corporal Benajah Benton (8th Regiment New York Heavy Artillery), 2nd Lieutenant C. Leander Irwin (Company F 79th Illinois Infantry), Private John Robischon (Company B 34th US Volunteer Infantry), Private Alfred Tolberg (Company D 3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry) and Private James Towner (Company K 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry).

The 146th Ceremony

Colonel Hetherington is the Senior Army Instructor at the Charter Transitions School. His students are members of the Junior ROTC program at the Colin Powell Leadership Academy, the only Junior ROTC program in Hennepin County. Students from the program posted the colors at the beginning of the service and read General Logan”'s Orders and the Gettysburg Address.

The Seward Community Concert Band, under the direction of David Berberick, provided the music for the program. Nancy Anderson led the singing. Special thanks to Emcee Robert Mayer, Reverend Becky Sechrist, members of several local veterans”' organizations, especially to Commander John Nelson and the members of American Legion Post #1. Members of Scout Troop #82 placed flags on the graves of the veterans and distributed poppies and programs. 

This year the cemetery received special attention from Marshall Kadlec and the friends and family members of Scout Troop 1. Marshall organized a community service program where volunteers raked and cleaned the cemetery grounds and planted perennials in several of the cemetery”'s flowerbeds. Most importantly, they cleaned the markers of many of our military veterans which will help to preserve them for years to come.

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