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Special joint service pays tribute to Zion/St. Paul veterans

Ellendale, Zion Lutheran Church, veterans
A special Zion Lutheran Church, Ellendale, veterans program is planned for Sunday, May 26. These are some of the planners for a veterans joint service between Zion Lutheran and St. Paul Lutheran. Shown from left are: (Kneeling) Chuck Crabtree, Ellendale Honor Guard; (kneeling) Glenn Wieisjhan, treasurer of Zion Cemetery Board. Standing: Diane Kath-Schoenfeld, parish secretary; Pastor Billie Jo Wicks, minister for both churches; Larry Crabtree, Ellendale Honor Guard; Don Hunt, advisor; Sandy Dinse, church historian and Wayne Sommers, president of the Zion Cemetery Association of Lemond Township. Staff photo by Howard Lestrud
Howard Lestrud, Contributing Writer

Sunday, May 26, will indeed be a special day for the Ellendale VFW Post 8941 and Ellendale American Legion Post 296.

A special service will be held at Zion Lutheran Church, located at 7126 72nd Ave. SW, Ellendale. A first-time veterans tribute service last year was well received by parishioners of Zion Lutheran Church and St. Paul Lutheran Church, said Glenn Wiesjhan, treasurer of the Zion Cemetery Association of Lemond Township.

“That’s why we are doing it again, this year paying tribute to the two Ellendale VFW and American Legion posts,” Wiesjhan said.

Both posts were named No.1 Small Town Posts of the year in Minnesota for their honor guards.

Zion church members also donated 75 geraniums, an increase from the 35 donated last year.

Services together

The combined church worship service and veterans tribute service is scheduled the day before Memorial Day, May 27. The regular worship service begins at 8:30 a.m. and will be led by Rev. Billie Jo Wicks. Following the church service, Pastor Billie will announce the posting of the colors at 9:15 a.m., the beginning of the memorial service.

The colors will be posted by Ellendale VFW Post 8941 Commander Chuck Crabtree, American Legion Post 296 Chaplain Larry Crabtree, and other Post honor guard members. 

Chaplain Larry Crabtree will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and will deliver a prayer and message.

Zion/St. Paul veterans will be recognized. All veterans of the two churches will be shown on a large screen as a bell is tolled for each veteran announced.

The colors will then be retrieved and dismissed to the Zion cemetery. Two patriotic songs will be sung. History of the two church cemeteries will be provided by Sandy Dinise.

Two honorary veterans, since passed, will be announced by Chaplain Crabtree. They are Hunter Frank of St. Paul’s Lutheran and Dale Strenge of Zion Lutheran. Families, guests, and friends will then be dismissed to the cemetery.

Chaplain Crabtree will preside at the cemetery ceremonies. Zion Cemetery president Wayne Sommers will place a wreath at the grave sites of the Honorary Veterans. The family will participate.

The Ellendale Honor Guard will fire a 21-gun salute. Frank Whitcome will play "Taps.”

A time to reflect will be provided. Chaplain Crabtree will say a closing prayer. The Honor Guard will then be dismissed.

Lunch follows

All are invited to the Zion Social Hall for a light lunch and fellowship. A free will offering is asked. All contributions will be given to the Ellendale VFW/American Legion posts.

The special day was coordinated by the Zion Cemetery Board and the St. Paul Cemetery Board. Since the event will be held at the Zion Lutheran Church and Zion Cemetery, planning was led by the Zion Cemetery Board.

Zion Cemetery Board members are Wayne Sommers, president; Dennis Woodfield, vice president; Nadine Strenge, secretary; Glenn Wiesjhan, treasurer; Don Hunt, cemetery advisor; and Barb Strenge, cemetery advisor.

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