By Adam Quandt
Overcast skies and the occasional rain shower did not stop community members from gathering at Lewis Cemetery in Maple Plain for the annual Memorial Day service to remember and honor those who served our country and lost their lives.
The Paul Stinson Post 514 of the American Legion led the service, which included speeches of remembrance from Post Commander Gary McPherson, prayers from the Post Chaplain Glenn Fredeen, a guest speaker and a gun salute.
Members of the American Legion were joined in the service by members of the auxiliary and members of the Orono High School band.
This year’s guest speaker was Sam Daly from Believet canine kennels and training in Northfield, Minnesota. This was the second year that Daly has spoken at the Memorial Day service a Lewis Cemetery.
Daly’s kennel works and strives to provide service dogs to veterans upon their return from war. Daly himself is a veteran, who served in Afghanistan and saw the long-lasting effects of war first hand.
During the ceremony, Daly spoke about his experiences and passion for working with his service dogs in order to provide vets a loving companion to help them through life after service.
Post Commander McPherson also used the service to tell the community the news of his stepping down as post commander. McPherson announced that Gun Commander Jim Meyer will be taking his place as post commander. McPherson will take on the role as Post Service Officer.
Before the benediction at the conclusion of the service, McPherson read aloud the names of those who died in service and their final resting locations, followed by the placing of a remembrance wreath at the foot of the service memorial at the cemetery.
Following the name reading, Post Chaplain Fredeen and soon-to-be Post Commander Meyer presented McPherson with a plaque honoring his years of service with the Paul Stinson Post.
McPherson closed with a call to action for the community to help veterans by simply thanking them and taking the time to honor their service to the county.