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Memorial Day events set around Farmington

Veterans from several generations will attend Monday's ceremony in Farmington.

Farmington and surrounding townships will be able to pay tribute to the area's deceased veterans, as plans are well under way for the 2013 Memorial Day ceremonies.

Members of the Farmington American Legion Clifford Larson Post 189 and the Farmington Veterans of Foreign Wars Sypal-Lundgren Post 7662 will hold three memorial services this weekend.

"We're honoring the ones who gave all," said VFW commander Ron Ersfeld.

The ceremonies begin Sunday. Marchers will first go to the Farmington Lutheran Church Cemetery in Eureka Township for a noon service, then move on to Castle Rock Cemetery for a 2 p.m. ceremony.

Castle Rock Cemetery's 150th anniversary will also be observed Sunday afternoon.

On Monday, marchers from the American Legion and VFW will lead a procession through the Corinthian Cemetery and the adjoining St. Michael's Cemetery, to open a 10 a.m. ceremony.

Farmington soldier Anthony Wittingham, an Army veteran, will be the featured speaker for the ceremony. Hugh Swift will deliver his annual flag tribute, and Jim Deegan will read "In Flanders Field." Music will be provided by the Farmington High School band students.

New this year will be 72 U.S. flags, which will hang from the streetlights of downtown Farmington. The flags were purchased as part of Ersfeld's Commander's Project for this year. To date, he has received donations for 43 of the flags.

"It's going to look nice for people coming through town for the holiday," Ersfeld said.

Ersfeld hopes to have a nice turnout for Monday's Memorial Day ceremony. He expects a good crowd, because the typically draws quite a few families.

"For a lot of them, it's to honor their father, son, uncle, brother, husband or what have you," Ersfeld said. "It's a good day for recognition. They're the ones who kept us free. That's what it's all about."

Ersfeld is still accepting donations for his flag project. Each flag costs $55. Donations can be left at the VFW Post on Third Street, with the words "Commander's Project" on the donation.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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