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Waseca, MN (507) 837-6767


Grant Whissemore, right, received a certificate thanking him for 19 years of service with the Waseca Memorial Day Association.

Jackson serves as speaker during Memorial Day service

The bleachers of the Waseca Junior/Senior High School were filled most of the way to the top with spectators during the Waseca community Memorial Day Service, organized by the Waseca Memorial Day Association, chaired by Grant Whissemore. The program took place at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 27; it was moved indoors to the school because of rain, but would otherwise have been held on the grounds of the Waseca County Courthouse, its traditional location.
Speaker for the event was Air Force Colonel Abraham Jackson, a 1993 graduate of Waseca High School who is now the director of intelligence in Langley, Virginia. Jackson called his local roots to mind, mentioning how his one-time football coach Dave Zika had included an editorial about “game changers” in the most recent issue of the Pioneer.
He referred to military members who died in conflicts, and to veterans who have died in the past year as “nation changers,” whose service protected the rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” all American citizens enjoy. 
Referring to the oath taken by individuals entering the military, he said “it is our duty to honor” those who “raised their right hand.” Saying that means we are honoring “well over a million patriots from all walks of life,” he went on to name soldiers from a number of different conflicts.
Jackson suggested it is “our honor and obligation” to recall and tell the stories of those honored for their service.
In his closing line, he expressed the hope “May they have a flag at their grave every Memorial Day.”
Under the direction of Waseca band teacher Devon Lawrence and choir teacher Megan Kreinbring, members of the Waseca High School Band and the Male and Female Sextets performed a few times during the event, including the “Star Spangled Banner” and “America” (My Country, ‘Tis of Thee). The song “Travelin’ Soldier” was performed by Muriah Miller-Keith and Emma and Layla Keith, accompanied on the guitar by Jerome Broughton. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was read by high school student Lucas Vasquez-Neigebauer.
Wreaths honoring soldiers from all conflicts fought by American forces were placed by representatives from the Waseca American Legion and V.F.W. posts and their auxiliaries. The names of those area veterans who died during the past year were read by V.F.W. Commander Blaine Brooks. An opening prayer and closing benediction were offered by Father Glenn Frerichs of Sacred Heart Church. A rifle squad gave a simulated salute, since the gathering was held indoors. The ceremony closed with the playing of Taps and the removal of the colors.
Also near the end of the program, representatives of the V.F.W. and the American Legion presented an award to Memorial Day Association chair Grant Whissemore, thanking him for nearly two decades of service with the association. Whissemore announced he is stepping down from his leadership role as of this year.
The program was videotaped and will be shown on Waseca’s PEG Channel. The link is https://cityofwaseca.viebit.com/player.php?hash=KKAr9qnos2NtQ4TF


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