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Bless our troops this Christmas

Richard Reuer, Minot

This past week, two areas (Pioneer Village Museum-Burlington and the Grand Hotel) here in the Magic City opened their doors to the public to share the 79th annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Here the public was given information on four of our North Dakota sailors whose remains have been brought home in the past three years now, to their hometown for their final resting place. Also, there was information given about the ships these sailors served and perished on during the attack of Pearl Harbor. They were: USS Oklahoma, USS Arizona and USS West Virginia.

It brings me great honor to be able to share many of the veteran’s remembrances to our community such as: Four Chaplains (February), Medal of Honor (March), Wreaths Across America Wall of Honor (May), Flag Day (June), Purple Heart (August), POW/MIA (September), Pearl Harbor Day (December). These were started over ten years ago when I was the Post Chaplain for the American Legion Post #26, and this past year I resigned from the American Legion Post #26 have completely turned over these programs to the Wreaths Across America Minot Civil Air Patrol so that these programs may continue on in the years ahead for our community to witness and be apart of being an American worth fighting for.

I’m am totally grateful for the board members of the Ward County Historical Society who have voted on having these events brought to the Pioneer Village Museum – Burlington as special veterans’ event throughout the year.

Just after the Pearl Harbor display at the Grand Hotel, I was able to place one new additional display to help remind our community why I brought Wreaths Across America to the Magic City and how each year we have added new sponsors and their fallen loved ones to our list.

In front the of the Primo restaurant sets a traditional family Christmas dinner setting. As this table is being displayed, those who walk by and notice its being there, hopefully will notice that there is a photo of a young Army WWII soldier placed on the plate. This young soldier represents the many homes of family members who have lost a loved one or they have a loved one that is serving overseas somewhere, and those who are fighting for our freedom. As they will not be home sharing the family traditional Christmas dinner with their family, and so leaves an empty chair.

I know how that feels, as back in 1976, I spent my first Christmas away from my wife and 6-month-old daughter while being stations with the 3rd Marine Division, FMF, in Okinawa, Japan.

If you have not been able to give a donation for Wreaths Across America, you still have a chance to do so, for on this display is a glass block bank. The donations from this display will go towards wreaths for next year, December 18, 2021.

Thank you and God bless you. And God bless our troops wherever they are spending their Christmas away from home. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Minot Civil Air Patrol Wreaths Across America.

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