Col. Max Mitchell, vice commander of the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, will be the guest speaker at Minot's Memorial Day program in Rosehill Memorial Park on Monday.
The program begins at 10:30 a.m.
Mitchell, a native of Dallas, has been vice commander of the 5th Bomb Wing since June 2011.
Geanne Pankratz, left, Minot, and her daughter, Susie Olson, of Blaisdell, decorate around and on the marker for Odell Gerald Flom, a World War II veteran, in the Veterans Section in Rosehill Memorial Park in Minot Wednesday. Flom, who served in the infantry, was Pankratz’s brother and Olson’s uncle. “We love doing it for Memorial Day,” Olson said. Her mother said they also decorate there at other times of the year including fall, Christmas and Easter.
As vice commander, he is responsible for the health and welfare of about 4,900 active-duty members, 500 civilian employees and 6,000 family members at Minot AFB. He also assists with overseeing operations involving the wing's fleet of B-52 bombers to provide a rapid response, combat-ready force in support of U.S. Strategic Command and theater Combatant Command operations. Mitchell is a master navigator with more than 3,700 flying hours, including 138 combat hours.
Following the Rosehill Memorial Park program, lunch will be available at the VFW Club Post 753 at 1100-31st St. SE.
At 8 a.m. on Monday, there will be the Scattering of the Flowers Ceremony conducted at the Veterans Memorial Walkway, formerly the Eighth Street Northwest bridge.
The scattering of the flowers is done in remembrance of the soldiers and sailors lost at sea.
Master Sgt. Gregory Hammel, of the 5th Munitions Squadron at Minot AFB, will be guest speaker at the 8 a.m. ceremony. Delores Walhood, president of American Legion Post 26 Auxiliary, will scatter the flowers.
Arnold Havelka, of the Minot American Legion Post, will be master of ceremonies, Louis McLeod, Minot American Legion chaplain, will serve as chaplain for the programs.
Stephanie Ashley, of West Branch, Mich., who is a photographer with the Minot AFB Public Affairs Office, will sing the national anthem at both programs.
Veterans organizations involved in the programs include the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the women's auxiliaries of the veterans organizations, Minot AFB Honor Guard and Minot AFB Boy Scouts.
In case of inclement weather, the programs will be held in the Grand Hotel, formerly the Grand International Inn.
Prior to the Minot Memorial Day programs, from 7 to 10 a.m., breakfast will be served at the American Legion Post 26 at 1949 N. Broadway.
Joint services at border
For the 76th annual year, the the Bothun-Peterson Post 213 of the American Legion in Sherwood will conduct Memorial Day services with its Canadian counterparts.
In 1937, military veterans from Sherwood, who were then members of the Legion Post in Mohall because Sherwood did not have an active Legion Post, celebrated the first Memorial Day at the New White Theater. A Canadian attended that ceremony and the following year, 1938, joint forces from the U. S. and Canada began a tradition that is still carried on today.
This year's Memorial Day will begin at 10:15 a.m. with the flag ceremony at the border. A program at the Sherwood School gymnasium will begin at 11 a.m., with Donna Gosselin, executive director of the Royal Canadian Legion, Saskatchewan Command, as the main speaker. A parade down Main Street, with a stop at the Firemen's Memorial for a wreath-laying ceremony will follow the program at the school. The final ceremony is at the Sherwood Union Cemetery, where wreaths are laid at the Unknown Soldier Memorial. The American Legion Auxiliary will provide lunch at the Sherwood Memorial Hall for all who attend the Memorial Day services. Former Sherwood residents who were members of the military are welcome to participate. They do not need to be members of the American Legion.