Goal for veterans’ wreaths tripled

Richard Reuer


On this Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, I was setting at my breakfast table reading the Minot Daily News and came across a letter to the editor from Nancy Bommelman about the many that helped in purchasing 550 rebar crosses to place wreaths on for veterans lying in Section 16 of Rosehill Memorial Park Cemetery.

I thank her for taking my dream and vision to help share one way that our community can express their thanks to our fallen heroes and their family members during the Christmas holiday by sponsoring a wreath for a veterans grave.

For it was back in 2014 when I approached Bonnie Ripplinger, Superintendent of Rosehill Memorial Park Cemetery about laying of wreaths at the grave of veterans during the Christmas holiday in honor of those who dedicated and gave their lives for the freedom we have today. Not only for those veterans, but also for their family members who every year at their family traditional holiday celebrations around their family dining table and find an empty chair, which would have been their loved one who served our county, no longer in their presence. And it was in that first year over 300 wreaths were sponsored. Last year there were over 900 wreaths sponsored and of those 900, over 400 were sent to Arlington National Cemetery and for the first time in over 10 years they were able to fill over 300,000 graves.

So, this year we are hoping to triple our giving. Last month I decided to walk the full area of the cemetery writing down names of all the veterans that are buried in Rosehill Memorial Park Cemetery. There are 1,499 veterans that are not buried in the three veteran sections (12, 16, and 28), one of them was a POW with a Purple Heart and was one from the Bataan Death March Survivor (Major Charles C. Foster, Army, WWII) in Section 20 near the cemetery office. Two others are SSgt Arthur E. Linrud, Army Air Foce, WWII (Section 28), and Captain Mina A. Aasen, Army Nurse Corps WWI and WWII (Section 16). There are 549 veterans buried in Section 16; 371 veterans buried in Section 28 and 227 veterans buried in Section 12 giving us a grand total of 2,646 veterans buried in Rosehill.

This year the American Legion Auxiliary Unit #26 will be hosting their 2nd Annual Gold Star Mothers and Family Day at the Grand Hotel as part of the Wreaths Across America’s annual kickoff. The date is set for September 10 from 1-3 pm. Public invited.