Jack Peck, above left, of Little Falls, welcomed Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash, adjutant general of the state of Minnesota, as the speaker during Memorial Day services held at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls. Nash, whose military career spans four decades (enlisted in 1972), honored the “Service members who have served or who are currently serving this great nation; and most certainly our ‘Gold Star’ family members, for you have endured and carry a very heavy burden.” Gold Star families are those that have lost a loved one serving in the military. Nash praised Director David Swantek and the cemetery staff, “On this remarkable place of honor,” he said. “I believe this is one of the most beautiful and dignified places in our great state. We appreciate what you have done here for all of our fallen heroes.”
Pictured at right is Bob Larson of Rice, as he salutes during the playing of the National Anthem. Larson is a Viet Nam and Army veteran (1968-69), and is also the vice president of wreathsforthefallen.org. Larson said he is active with this organization that places wreaths on veterans’ graves at Christmas time, “Because I don’t want anyone to forget what all of our veterans have done for us.” U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar was also on hand for the ceremony. She said it was easy to see why the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery had received an Excellence of Appearance honor from the National Cemetery Administration in 2011. More photos of the day can be found on the Record’s Web site at www.mcrecord.com as well as on Camp Ripley’s Facebook page.