By Jan Rahn
Communities along the Highline have scheduled ceremonies to honor the war dead as America observes Memorial Day on Monday, May 27.
Services are set at each of the cemeteries from Venango east to Wallace, including Grant, Madrid and Elsie.
Grant Fairview Cemetery
• Services are set at 10 a.m. at the cemetery west of Grant.
• Pastor Ron Krause, also a veteran, will serve as emcee and will deliver the invocation and benediction.
• Speaker for the ceremony is Pastor Nora Mendyk who has served the Grant United Methodist Church for close to one year.
She and her husband, Dave, moved to Grant from the northeastern part of Nebraska where she had served for five years in West Point at the Trinity United Methodist Church and United Church of Christ, along with the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Uehling.
• The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 40 will serve coffee and rolls at the legion hall in Grant following the service. Everyone is invited.
• Post 271 will host their annual pancake feed at the legion hall from 7-8:15 a.m. prior to services.
• Services will be held at the Madrid Cemetery at 9 a.m. on Memorial Day.
• Father Mark Pfeiffer, who has served the Elsie, Wallace and Grant diocese for the past six years, will deliver the morning’s message.
• Legion Auxiliary Unit 271 will serve coffee and rolls at the legion following services.
• Services begin at the cemetery east of town at 10 a.m. with Post 206 Commander Glen Stanek serving as emcee.
• Taps will be played by Makayla DaMoude, an Imperial teenager who will play the meaningful melody for the fourth time at Elsie’s Memorial Day services.
• The annual service at the Morning View Cemetery south of Wallace will take place at 10:30 a.m. CDT.
• Pastor Harun Gatobu will deliver the invocation and benediction. Legionnaire Jim Smith will emcee the services. Auxiliary Unit 213 Chaplain Bonnie Erickson will speak, as will 2013 Wallace High School graduate Gini Phillips, class valedictorian. Music will be provided by LaDonna Swedberg.
• A free-will hamburger feed hosted by the American Legion will follow at the legion hall. Everyone invited.
• The program for Memorial Day begins at 10:30. Those not wishing to stand should bring a lawn chair.
• Free-will lunch at the legion hall following services.
• Speaker for the morning service is Army veteran Dennis Conner.
Dennis enlisted into the Army in November 1994 as a technical engineer and was assigned to the 244th Engineer Battalion.
While serving with the battalion, he deployed in 2003-2004 to Iraq under the 4th Infantry Division. Upon his return, he spent three years as an Improvised Explosive Device – Defeat (IED-D) instructor for deploying units with the 3/361st Infantry Regiment.
In October 2007 he completed the Warrant Officer Candidate Course and was appointed as a WO One; then commissioned as a WO Two in September 2009.
In November 2009, he deployed to Afghanistan with the 372nd Engineer Brigade under 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.
After returning home, he transitioned to training and mentoring the Afghan Special Forces in Facilities Engineering in Herat and now Mazar-e Sharif.
Dennis’ service awards include: Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device, Bronze Star Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal with one service star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two service stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with one service star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, ISAF NATO Medal and the Combat Action Badge.
Dennis and his wife, Maggie (Deden), have been married for almost 15 years and have two children, Kendryck and Kayleigh. The family has lived in Littleton, Colo. since 2007.
Schedule of Services
10:30 a.m. at cemetery; bring a lawn chair. Free-will lunch to follow at legion hall.
10 a.m. at cemetery. Coffee/rolls to follow at legion hall.
7-8:15 a.m. pancake feed at legion hall. Services at cemetery at 9 a.m. Coffee/rolls to follow at legion hall.
Services at cemetery east of town at 10 a.m.
Services at Morning View Cemetery 10:30 a.m. CDT. Free-will hamburger feed to follow at legion hall.
Blanche Cemetery Memorial Day service to include dedication
A ceremony will be held at the Blanche Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 27 at 2 p.m. MDT to honor 14 veterans buried there. Included are four from the Civil War, four from World War I, four from World War II, one Korean veteran and one Vietnam veteran.
The new flag pole, given in memory of Judy Harms, will also be dedicated at this time.
The cemetery is 25 miles northeast of Imperial, one mile south of the Chase/Perkins County line on Avenue 343.