I think a lot of people forget what Memorial Day is really all about.  With our busy lives a lot of us see this as a day off, a day to sleep in, a day to BBQ and drink or a day to get some things done but, in the back of our minds we know today has a greater meaning. If that's the case, just stop for one moment today to think about the freedoms we have today and how we got them and who made that happen.  

Today is a day we pay tribute to those who have fought for our freedom here in the USA and have made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives.  We celebrate today in their honor and thank them.

If you happen to be traveling around the state today or are just looking for a celebration to attend, you can check out the link to the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs to see a list of statewide Memorial Day Events.

If you are staying around the St Cloud area, here are some ceremonies happening locally.

The St. Cloud VA Health Care System will host a Memorial Day Ceremony on the St. Cloud VA Campus starting at 10:30 a.m with a parade. The ceremony will then start at 11:00 a.m. Both events will be held in front of Building 92. District 13A State Representative Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Howe will be this year’s keynote speaker. The St. Cloud Municipal Band will be performing as part of the ceremony. This event is free and open to the public. Volunteers are needed to escort Veterans to the program. If you would like to volunteer contact Voluntary Service at (320) 255-6365.

The St. Cloud VFW will host a special Memorial Monument Dedication on Monday, May 25th at 1:00 p.m. The Ceremony will take place in front of the VFW, and will last about an hour. Major Jerry Lang will be presenting the dedication and awards ceremony. The monument will display about 900 names. Food will be for sale before and after the ceremony.

A Community Memorial Day Mass will be held at Assumption Cemetery at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, May 25th. Father Thomas Knoblach will be leading the service. If there is inclement weather, the service will be held at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. The event is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Council 961 and Holy Spirit Church.

The annual Memorial Day Service will be held at Saint John’s Abbey Cemetery at 11:15 a.m. on Monday, May 25th. The service will be honoring all who had served in the United States. The service includes prayer, a roll call of honor, and the Saint John’s Legion Honor Guard providing the traditional military salute.

The Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post in Onamia will host their annual Memorial Day Powwow. It will be on Monday, May 25th from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. This ceremony will honor American Indian veterans. This event will also feature a contemporary powwow, and American Indian artists who will be discussing and demonstrating their work.

The National Moment of Remembrance will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Monday. All Americans are encouraged to take a moment of silence in honor of the men and women who have died in service to the United States.