|Memorial Day services set in cemeteries along the Highline|
By Jan Rahn
The fallen soldiers who have given their lives in pursuit of our nation’s freedom will be honored with military tributes across the nation on Memorial Day, Monday May 31.
Cemeteries across the Highline have set public ceremonies so the grateful residents of our region can pay tribute to the men and women who sacrificed their lives for the love of their country.
Sites honoring the war dead in Perkins County include Venango Cemetery, Fairview Cemetery of Grant, Madrid Cemetery and Elsie Cemetery. Farther east along the Highline into Lincoln County, the Morning View Cemetery at Wallace will host Memorial Day services.
10:30 a.m.—American Legion District 5 Commander Lee Hoatson from Sutherland will be the Memorial Day speaker.
Lunch: Following the ceremony at the cemetery, a free-will donation lunch will be served at the American Legion Hall sponsored by American Legion Auxiliary Unit 270. Everyone is welcome.
Speaker: Lee Hoatson graduated from Sutherland in 1962 and joined the U.S. Navy. He served mostly on submarines for the next six years, including time in the Vietnam war zone and in the Far East.
He was discharged in 1968 and attended college, graduating from UNL with a Bachelor’s Degree in animal science.
He and wife Barb were married in 1965 and have two children, Jeff and Jodi, and three grandsons.
Hoatson was asked to join the American Legion in 1968 and has served as Post 208 Adjutant and Commander and District 5 Vice Commander and Commander.
He later served as Area D Vice Commander and Sergeant at Arms for State Commander Dave Konz.
He is a permanent member of the American Legion and VFW, a member of the 40&8 and Sons of the American Legion. He also served with the American Legion National Committee from Nebraska.
Most of all, Hoatson is a proud American veteran who loves his country.
10 a.m.—Reverend Vince Carrig of the New Life Fellowship Church in Grant will be the featured speaker during Memorial Day services at the Fairview Cemetery west of Grant.
Coffee/Rolls: Following the services at the cemetery, the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 30 will serve coffee and rolls at the American Legion Hall at the corner of Third and Washington in Grant. Everyone is welcome.
Speaker: Pastor Carrig and his family moved to Grant in December 2005 where he pastors the New Life Fellowship Church.
He was not always a follower of Jesus. Born and raised in New Jersey, the transition occurred three years into his education at Rutgers University.
The turning point occurred when a roommate, an avid Bible reader, encouraged him to take a New Testament course.
Following an illness and a job in sales, he concluded he would be most fulfilled in the ministry.
He attended Dallas Theological Seminary where he met his wife, Beth, and took an unpaid position with an interracial church in St. Louis. Prior to moving to Grant, he served as a chaplain with an evangelical organization for truck drivers.
He is an avid sports fan, writing coverage columns of fall and winter sports for The Grant Tribune-Sentinel.
He and Beth have two children, Rachel, who is 13-and-a-half, and James, 11.
7-8:30 a.m.—The tribute in Madrid begins early with a pancake feed at the Madrid Community Hall sponsored by American Legion Post 271.
9 a.m.—Memorial services at the Madrid Cemetery will feature Pastor Dave Kahle, Zion Lutheran minister from Imperial.
Coffee/Rolls: Following the ceremony at the cemetery the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 271 will serve coffee and rolls at the Madrid Community Hall. Everyone welcome.
Speaker: Pastor Kahle has a long history of military service.
He grew up on a farm south of Kearney. He entered the Army after high school, was stationed in Fort Knox, Ky., and Fort Hood, Texas. He served in Bindlach, West Germany and was on border patrol duty the day The Wall came down.
He served in Desert Shield/Desert Storm, then returned to Germany. He switched his major to nursing when he returned home. He signed up as an Army nurse through ROTC, returned to the military and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps.
He took an Officer Basic Course at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, and was assigned to Ireland Army Medical Hospital in Fort Knox where he made emergency room care his specialty for many years.
He made the decision to enter the ministry, and with less than a year remaining in his commitment, was sent to Korea by the Army Nurse Corps to serve in the 121st Medical Hospital in Seoul.
This was his last military station.
Upon discharge in 2000 he enrolled in Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. While going to school he continued his chosen career as a nurse, working in an emergency room at the local trauma center.
Upon completion of his Masters of Divinity Degree, he was called by Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of Imperial.
Pastor Kahle and his wife, Merinda, have been married nearly 18 years and have a 14-year-old daughter, Tapainga.
10 a.m.—Memorial Day services at the Elsie Cemetery begin mid morning with a tribute to the war dead by the American Legion Post 206.
There will not be a featured speaker for the morning’s service.
10:30 a.m.—Services at cemetery. Invocation and benediction by Pastor Mary Fuller.
Music provided by Donna Swedberg. Senior graduate Josi Hasenauer, valedictorian, will speak.
Lunch: A free-will offering hamburger lunch will be held at the American Legion Hall following the Memorial Day ceremony.