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Memorial Day service at Lakeside Cemetery near Hancock

The traditional Memorial Day service was held on Monday at Page Lake Cemetery. After the color guard entered, Pastor Jackie Harvestine of East and West Zion Lutheran Churches opened the program. The guest speaker was Chad Ver Steeg. Vocal music was provided by Maureen Nelson and Cassie Blair accompanied by Austin Nelson.

Pastor Harvestine told the crowd that those who were honored on this day had listened to the call to serve. The served their communities, served their country and served their God in the United States military. She added that is is fitting on Memorial Day to take the time to remember with deep appreciation and thankfulneess all of the men and women who have and who continue to serve in all branches of the armed services, those who protect and defend the Amercan way of life.

"As surely as anyone," Pastor Harvestine stated, "they lived out their calling to the betterment of our community and our country, all giving some and some giving all. The honor, respect and remembrance of them today seems the very least we can do."

Major Chad VerSteeg, a C-130 pilot in the Air Force Reserve out of Minneapolis shared several accounts of heroism in wars today and the past. He stated that he had been reading books like Blackhawk Down, Roberts Ridge, Lone Survivor and Service, A Navy Seal at War.

"I feel I could speak to you for hours about the selfless heroism of our troops daily to preserve and defend freedom here and abroad" said VerSteeg.

"Whether you agree with our troops being in Iraq or Afghanistan over the last decade is up to you," added VerSteeg, "but the sacrifice these men and women serving in our Armed Forces make, deserves our utmost attention."

He concluded by stating "I truly believe the men and women of the United State Military stand in the gap for us today between tyranny and freedom. Much of the world does not know freedom, does not live in freedom, but yet yearns in their heart to be free. As we go about our day enjoying the freedom of spending time with our friends, families and pets, remember the sacrifice that was paid in blood by over 500,000 men and women in our lifetime for us to be free."