Memorial Day activities scheduled to take place in area communities

Grand Marshal and Featured Speaker ...  U.S. Air Force Colonel Eric Haler. Submitted photo.
Grand Marshal and Featured Speaker ... U.S. Air Force Colonel Eric Haler. Submitted photo.

A variety of Memorial Day activities are being planned for the upcoming holiday weekend, including all the traditional Memorial Day observances this year scheduled for Monday, May 27 in all of the area communities within Allamakee County. Those traditions of parades, full cemetery programs and wreath laying are being planned in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in serving their country, with details of some of those celebrations being outlined below on this page in their respective highlighted boxes.

The 2024 Memorial Day Observance Program in Waukon is once again being planned to take place at its traditional setting at Oakland Cemetery in Waukon. That program is scheduled to commence at approximately 10 a.m. following the traditional parade that lines up at 9 a.m. and begins at 9:45 a.m. in front of the Allamakee County Courthouse and marches its way to the cemetery. In the event of rain, the parade will not be held and the observance program will, instead, be held inside the Waukon Event Center at approximately 10 a.m.

Volunteers will be needed to help set up the Avenue of Flags Saturday, May 25, beginning at 8 a.m. Those efforts will begin at the Allamakee County Courthouse in Waukon. Any changes in plans regarding the parade, observance ceremony or Avenue of Flags will be announced on local radio stations.
Anyone seeking more information on the Memorial Day Observance Program in Waukon should contact Heather Homewood at the Allamakee County Veterans Services Office at 563-568-6135.

Serving as the Grand Marshal for this year’s Memorial Day Parade and also presenting the Memorial Day Address as this year’s featured speaker at the Observance Program in Waukon will be Waukon native Colonel Eric D. Haler, Commander of the 782nd Training Group at Sheppard Air Force Base located in Wichita Falls, TX. He is the son of Don and DiAnne Haler of Waukon and a 1995 graduate of Waukon High School. His grandparents are the late George and Phyllis Haler and the late Lloyd and Elaine Weber, with his father and his father’s father both also serving in the U.S. military as well. He and his wife, Becky, have two sons, Elijah and Hobbs.
Col. Haler is responsible for the operational and military training of more than 12,500 U.S. and international military and civilian Department of Defense (DoD) personnel annually in more than 233 initial and advanced resident and mobile training team courses. The 782nd Training Group is widely known as the most diverse training group in the Air Force, and includes courses in civil engineering, aircraft systems maintenance, fighter and bomber avionics maintenance, telecommunications, fuels management, ground transportation, and more that are taught across five of the United States, including Texas, Missouri, Virginia, Mississippi and Florida.
Colonel Haler received his commission through Iowa State University’s Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) program in 2000. His Air Force specialty is a Logistics Readiness Officer and he was promoted to Colonel in the U.S. Air Force in July of 2021.

Memorial Day Observance in Waukon

• Memorial Day Parade will line up at 9:00 a.m. and begins at 9:45 a.m. in front of the Allamakee County Courthouse on Allamakee Street and travels south down Rossville Road to Oakland Cemetery (weather permitting)
• Memorial Day Observance Program follows the parade, approximately 10 a.m. at Oakland Cemetery (at Waukon Event Center in the event of rain):
    • Invocation    Father John Moser
        St. Patrick Catholic Church
    • National Anthem    Annie Ellingson, Eireann Goettel,
        Dekota Bechtel and Gabe Goettel
    • Pledge of Allegiance    Children volunteers
    • General Logan’s Orders    Moriah Downing
    • Memorial Wreath Laying    DiAnne Haler, VFW Auxiliary
        Ella Lund, American Legion Auxiliary
    • POW/MIA Recognition    Moment of Silence
    • God Bless America    Waukon High School Band
    • Mrs. Poppy    Patsy Kerndt
    • Miss Poppy    Kaylee Hawes
    • Gettysburg Address    Cole Benzing
    • Quilts of Valor Presentation    Waukon Patriot Quilters
    • Music Selections    Waukon High School Band
    • Voice of Democracy Essay    Olivia Marti, Waukon High School
        Voice of Democracy Essay winner
    • Grand Marshal Recognition    Col. Eric Haler, U.S. Air Force
    • PROGRAM ADDRESS    Col. Eric Haler, U.S. Air Force
    • Music Selections    Waukon High School Band
    • Rifle Salute    Veterans Rifle Squad Honor Guard
    • Taps    Jean Schon, SSGT. U.S. Army, Retired
    • Announcements and Closing Remarks
    • Benediction    Father John Moser
        St. Patrick Catholic Church

• Master of Ceremonies: Abraham Barr, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran
• Honor Guard: VFW Post 4117 and American Legion Post 62

Lansing Memorial Day Observance

7:30 a.m. Legion and VFW Cemetery Service

8:15 a.m. Legion and VFW Cemetery Service

8:30 a.m. Flag raising by Legion and VFW

9 a.m. Flag raising by Legion and VFW

10 a.m. Navy Remembrance - Firing Squad
10:15 a.m. All active, reserve and former servicemen and women are invited to participate in the parade forming at the corner of Main and Front Streets at the Lansing Fire Station

11 a.m. The following Memorial Day program will be held
immediately upon arrival of the parade at Oak Hill Cemetery
Opening Remarks    Mayor Mike Verdon
Music Selections    Kee High School Band
Invocation    Fr. Joseph Sevcik
Gettysburg Address    Sawyer Gramlich
"In Flanders Field"    Isabelle Hammell
Roll Call    CMSgt. Cheryl Garin, USAF Ret.
Address    MMNC(SS) Joseph Swizdor, US Navy Ret.
Firing Squad    Legion and VFW
TAPS    Brynn Connelly and Berkley Wilwert
Benediction    Fr. Joseph Sevcik
If raining, program will be held at Kee High School at 11 a.m.

Flags at Lansing Cemeteries: Ron Hogan; Flags on Mt. Hosmer: Dick Roeder, John O’Hare; Wexford Cemetery: Ray Wagner; Music: Kee High School Band Director Liz Bahr

New Albin Memorial Day Observance

MONDAY, MAY 27 - 9:00 A.M.

The Memorial Day Observance taking place Monday, May 27 in New Albin will begin at the New Albin Community Center at 9 a.m. The following program will take place:

Invocation    Pastor Dick Wahlgemuth
Welcome    VFW Commander Ralph Nelson
Music Selections    Kee Middle School Band
Introduction to Gettysburg Address    John Colsch
Gettysburg Address    Lily Peterson
Music Selections    Kee Middle School Band
Local Veterans Story    Gary Thomas
Roll Call of KIA    Leland Moore
Benediction    Pastor Dick Wahlgemuth
Announcements    VFW Commander Ralph Nelson

Refreshments will be served at the program by the VFW Auxiliary. Volley and Taps will follow, first at the Veterans Memorial City Park in New Albin and then at St. Peter’s Cemetery, New Albin.

Harpers Ferry/Waterville Memorial Day Observance

The annual Harpers Ferry/Waterville Memorial Day Parade and Program are scheduled for Monday, May 27, with Harpers Ferry Scenic Post #722 American Legion and Auxiliary hosting the event in Harpers Ferry. Legion and Auxiliary members will conduct services at area cemeteries again this year, according to the following schedule: Old East Paint Creek, 7:15 a.m.; Waterville, 7:45 a.m.; Cherry Mound, 8 a.m.; Paint Rock, 8:15 a.m.; Cota Creek Bridge, 8:30 a.m.; and Harpers Ferry Sandy Point Cemetery, 8:40 a.m.
A Memorial Day Ecumenical Church Service will take place at St. Ann-St. Joseph Church in Harpers Ferry, with everyone welcome to attend at 9 a.m. The parade will begin after the service, approximately 10 a.m., with line-up for the parade beginning at 8:30 a.m. Transportation will be provided for those unable to march. For more information or to make a reservation to enter a float in the parade, contact Cyndi Luster at 608-520-2983 or Karis Walker at 608-415-3162.
The starting point of the parade will be at the church and it will proceed to the Veterans Memorial, where the Memorial Day Program will be conducted, including the laying of wreaths by the Ladies Auxiliary for each young man from the Harpers Ferry area who has lost his life in war. The Waukon Middle School Band will provide patriotic music for the event and Hannah Walleser will lead the entire crowd in a community singing of “The Star Spangled Banner”. Molly Peake, Girls State Citizen for 2024, will ride in the parade and read a patriotic poem. A pop-up museum themed “They’re More Than a Name on the Wall” will also be present at the Ethel Robinson Meehan Community Center (see the article on Page 6 inside this week’s edition of The Standard for further details on that exhibit).
Also part of the program will be contributions by American Legion Auxiliary President Karyla “Red” McCune, American Legion Scenic Unit #722 Commander Bob Sturch and Chaplain Dan Conway, a 21-gun salute by the American Legion Scenic Unit #722 Honor Guard, and Taps played by Russell Hagen of Waterville. James “Clutch” and Dianna Retzlaff will serve as King and Queen of the parade this year, and Rich Cota will serve as this year