Memorial Day in Brainerd, Minnesota, a tradition since 1968
Brainerd Memorial Day ceremonies are planned for Monday, May 30, 2022.
9:00 am: A wreath will be thrown in the Mississippi River from the Laurel Street Bridge.
9:45 am: Short ceremony at the All-Veterans Memorial at 4th and Laurel Streets.
10:30 am Parade north of Washington Street on 3rd Avenue NE to Evergreen Cemetery.
11:00 am: Main half-hour ceremony, with the BHS Band, will be at Evergreen Cemetery.
For those who cannot attend in person, the 11 am ceremony will be on Facebook Live at: https://www.facebook.com/brainerdmemorialday
In case of rain, the ceremonies will be moved to the Brainerd National Guard Armory, 1115 Wright Street in south Brainerd, at 11 am.
12:00 - 2:00 pm: Lunch at the Brainerd American Legion, 708 Front Street, for veterans and families. There will be a free-will offering.
Taps across America will be at Mills Fleet Farm at 3 pm on Memorial Day.
May 31, 2021, Memorial Day. Taps Across America at 3 pm at the All Veterans Memorial in Brainerd.
Taps with echo. (l-r) Brainerd VFW Commander Chip Borle and Charlie Johnson, a retired Pillager School teacher.
Brainerd Memorial Day, May 31, 2021. There was a wreath ceremony at the Laurel Street Bridge at 10 am honoring those who died at sea. Then it was on to the All Veterans Memorial, at 4th and Laurel Streets, for the main ceremony at 10:30 am honoring all who died in service to our country. See it on Facebook Live at: https://www.facebook.com/brainerdmemorialday The event was also broadcast radio stations KBLB, 93.3 FM and WWWI at 95.9 FM.
Lakeland Public TV story: https://lptv.org/brainerd-holds-more-traditional-memorial-day-ceremony-for-2021/
May 31, 2021. There was a lunch at the Brainerd American Legion at 708 Front Street. It was co-sponsored by Brainerd Elks for veterans and their families.
A promotional audio that was heard on KBLB 93.3 FM Radio and video that was seen on Lakeland TV in Brainerd.
The Brainerd Memorial Day Committee is an all-volunteer organization. However, there are expenses for replacing worn flags, equipment storage, printing and permits. Contributions will be gratefully accepted to defray costs for the event which remembers and honors those who died in service to our country. Send contributions to: Brainerd Memorial Day Committee C/O Brainerd VFW, 309 South 6th Street, Brainerd, MN 56401. Attention: Helen Doucette Thank You.
May 19, 2021: Radio interviews were done with committee member Mark Persons telling about event plans.
Monday, May 25, 2020, 10 am: Traditional Memorial Day ceremonies in Brainerd were replaced with a Facebook video taken at the All Veterans Memorial at 10 am. The Brainerd Fire Department put out a flag. Wreaths lay at the All Veterans Memorial, representing those lost at sea, the Bataan Death March, Gold Star families, Daughters of the American Revolution, Blue Star mothers, Marines, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Master of Ceremonies was Bill Satre. Reverend Mark Skinner said the prayers. Flags were raised and lowered. The Honor Guard fired 21 rounds and Marty Judd played Taps. Memorial Day is a national holiday honoring the more that one million servicemen and women who died in service to our country. The event was broadcast live on B93 and Cash 95 radio stations. Photos of the ceremony are below. You can view the video at: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=878102222708750&ref=watch_permalink In just 24 hours, there were more than 1600 views of the video. See still photography below.
We pause to give thanks on Memorial Day to the people who fought and died for freedom and our way of life.
A hero is someone who has given his or her life for something bigger than himself or herself.
Some 1.3 million servicemen and women died fighting for freedom and the American way of life.
From the Bible, John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Monday, May 25, 2020, 3 pm: The Brainerd VFW participated in Taps Across America, a national movement to play Taps in remembrance of those who died fighting for freedom. This 24-note bugle call was performed by Brainerd VFW Commander Chip Borle (on the right) with Taps echo by Charlie Johnson of Brainerd (on the left). Chip is an Iraq War veteran. Charlie is a retired Pillager, MN, band teacher. He had three uncles in WWII, one of them died. Another, a Navy man, died in Vietnam. See the video and audio at: https://www.facebook.com/brainerdmemorialdaycommittee/videos/1112790755773951
In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep
Here is what the Brainerd Memorial Day looked like in previous years. It started at the Laurel Street Bridge where a wreath was thrown into the Mississippi River in honor of those who died at sea. Then onto the All Veterans Memorial for a ceremony. A parade on the north side of Brainerd started at 11 am and went to Evergreen Cemetery where the main ceremony was held, followed by lunch at the Brainerd American Legion.
Promotional video: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1mvltPI82nx0rEmk9ejce04WTdJ0BLPvL
May 25, 2015: Memorial Day ceremonies were held indoors at the Brainerd National Guard Armory because of rain. WWII and Bataan Death March survivor Walt Straka was there.