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Past holiday weekends have been sad events:

Memorial Day Weekend: It’s Been A Bad One For ATV Riding,Mike Bryant | May 30, 2010 1:20 AM

Memorial Day Weekend: To Much Underage Drinking, Mike Bryant | May 29, 2010 2:46 PM

or just an extra day off.

The reality is it’s a day to remember those that have lost their lives in the defense and protection of our country. Unlike Veterans day, which is for all of our veterans, this is for those that are gone.

Today in church I was struck by the number of veterans that reacted to "America The Beautiful" I also heard of a great event going on around the state.

Minnesota War Memorials

There are several Memorials in the Minnesota State Capitol grounds in downtown St. Paul, including the Minnesota Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Minnesota Korean Veterans Memorial, the Peace Officers Memorial, and the World War Two Memorial.

Veterans Organizations plan to gather on the Capitol grounds on Monday. The Twin Cities Veterans for Peace hold a memorial observance, as does the the Vietnam Veterans of America.

For those wishing to pay quiet tribute, it will be much less busy to visit the memorials on Saturday or Sunday.

Lakewood Cemetery

Lakewood Cemetery honors veterans and all loved ones on Memorial Day. The Lakewood Cemetery Memorial Day Ceremony is at 10.30 a.m. at the Soldiers Memorial. Following the Ceremony will be guided walking tours of the cemetery, horse and carriage tours, children’s art activities, historical presentations, and music. The event is free and open to all.

Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery

In Little Falls, near Lake Mille Lacs, the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery will have the annual memorial service on Sunday, May 29th at 1:30 pm.

Fort Snelling

Historic Fort Snelling opens for the summer on Memorial Day weekend. Fort Snelling hosts a Memorial Day tribute Military History Timeline on Monday 30 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Costumed staff will help interpret United States military history, with characters from 225 years of history, and there will be firing demonstrations at the fort. Veterans are admitted free on Memorial Day.

Military Museums

The Fort Snelling Military Museum doesn’t have a specific Memorial Day event, but is certainly worthy of your visit this Memorial Day weekend. The museum, part of the modern Fort Snelling Army Reserve, is dedicated to preserving the memory of those who served in all wars, and the equipment they used. The museum will be open to visitors on Saturday May 28. The museum is in an active military site, ID is required for admission, and for security reasons all visitors must be in a vehicle.

Also on Fort Snelling Army Reserve, the Minnesota Air National Guard Museum preserves vintage aircraft, engines and flight simulators. The museum is only open on Saturday May 28 for visitors to tour the aircraft and exhibits. Photo ID is required for entry, as the museum is on an active military base.

Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery Memorial Day Observance

Minneapolis Pioneer and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery has an annual Memorial Day Celebration held on Monday morning. Call 612-624-1853 for more information.

St. Louis Park Memorial Day Service

The Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion honor those who have served our country in a Memorial Day Service at the Veterans’ Memorial Amphitheater in Wolfe Park, St. Louis Park. The service begins at 11 a.m., and the flag will be raised at noon.

Minnesota Civil War History at The Landing

The Landing, a historic site on the Minnesota River in Shakopee, is having a weekend of Civil War themed events on Saturday, Sunday and Memorial Day. A Memorial Day ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday.

Memorial Day Pow-Wow

A little way out of town: A two-hour drive north to Onamia, MN, will take you to the annual Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post Memorial Day Pow-Wow, hosted by AMVets Post 53. The Pow-Wow is a gathering of Native American dance, music, food, crafts and games to to honor past and present veterans on Monday 30 May. The event is free and open to all. Noon – 5 p.m.

As our speaker said today, please take the time to attend a parade, put out the flag, put a flower at a grave. Thank those that have given their lives. Also celebrate the families that have given up their loved ones so unselfishly.

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