Friday, December 2 2022

EAST GRAND FORKS — Many people celebrate Memorial Day with picnics and parades, but there’s a deeper reason for the holiday and it’s important to always remember that, the keynote speaker said during the East Grand Forks annual Memorial Day commemoration.

“The reason there is Memorial Day, the reason we gather here, is to remember those who have made our way of life possible,” said Terry Buraas of American Legion Post 157. “They are truly the guardians of our freedom.”

Buraas spoke for about eight minutes Monday during a modified version of the community’s typical Memorial Day service. As storms rolled through Greater Grand Forks on Monday morning, it prompted the Legion/VFW to bring most of the ceremony indoors. Although the honor guard still gave their traditional salute at the Resurrection Cemetery on the north side of the city, the remainder of the program was held indoors at the Legion as the rain continued before noon.

It proved better than the event hoped for by their counterparts in Grand Forks, who were forced to cancel traditional services altogether earlier in the day as heavy rain, accompanied by lightning, spoiled the morning.

With Buraas, commander of the Legion’s Ninth District, serving as emcee, the indoor version of the event in East Grand Forks began around 11:30 a.m., about half an hour after the salute at the cemetery.

“From the American Revolution to the Global War on Terror, more than one million American veterans have made the ultimate sacrifice,” Buraas said. “They died so we could continue to cherish the things they loved: God, country and family. That’s why we gather here on Remembrance Day, to join in the memory of our fallen warriors. who gave their all for their country.”

He said it is important to remember that “brave men and women have always come forward to take the oath of allegiance to the United States armed forces, ready to fight and, if necessary, to die in the name of the freedom”.

The event—including the short outdoor portion—featured a prayer and blessing from Legion Post 157 chaplain Jack Chatt; raising of the colors by Steve Jacobson and Mike Coleman, local Legion and VFW post commanders, respectively; wreath laying by Bev LeTexier; the honor guard salute by members of the Legion and VFW posts and led by Sergeant-at-Arms Vince Liddy; and Chatt’s reading of “The Call of Fallen Comrades”, which numbered 49. Taps was played by Ethan Custer, of Grand Forks.


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