Monticello honors military during Memorial Day events

Memorial Day observances and Monday’s mid-day parade in Monticello were planned jointly by the Monticello VFW Post 8731 and the Monticello American Legion Post 260.

Wreath-laying services and Honor Guard gun salutes were held  at 9:30 a.m. at Hillside Cemetery (VFW Honor Guard), at 10 a.m. at Ellison Park (VFW Honor Guard) and the Catholic Cemetery (American Legion Honor Guard).

The ceremonies at Riverside Cemetery began 10:30 a.m. and included speaker Clyde Lewandowski, Vietnam veteran and board member of the Vinh Son Montagnard Orphanage (, wreath laying services and gun salutes by both Honor Guards, with music provided by the Monticello High School Wind Ensemble, directed by Brett Krohn.

The parade began  at 11:30 a.m. from the American Legion at 304 Elm St.  It included color guards from the VFW, the American Legion and Legion Auxiliary.  Units from the U.S. Marines, the Monticello National Guard, the American Legion Riders, the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets Corp, the Monticello Fire Department, the Wright County Sheriff’s Department also participated

This year’s grand marshals included seven local veterans of foreign war conflicts:  World War II – Jerry Munn; Korea – Don Lee (Silver Star) and Buddy Kalpin (Purple Heart); Vietnam – Ray Fuller; Desert Storm – Dennis Galvin; Operation Iraqi Freedom (VFW Commander) – John Perry and Afghanistan – Joel Erickson.