By Bill Anderson
The brisk southeast breeze was heavy with humidity from the thunderstorm that had rolled over Rutland and surrounding area at about 4:30 a.m., giving the countryside a 1 inch drenching in the early morning hours, on top of the .4” and .6” that had been received on Friday & Saturday mornings. The American Flag, at half staff on the Nordland Cemetery flagpole, snapped in the breeze. The ceremonial detail from Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion formed up just east of the Main Gate a little before 10:15 a.m. and prepared to march to its pre-designated position at the east end of the cemetery. This year, members of the detail were: Color Bearers Rob Wyum & Andy Hoflen; Post Chaplain Ted Lee; Sergeant At Arms Calvin Jacobson; and, squad members: Roger McLaen; Tom Manley; Andy Harris; Larry Christensen; Bill Anderson; and, Roger Pearson. Calvin, a veteran of the Vietnam War, has been serving as Sergeant At Arms since 2009. Before then, Clayton McLaen, a Korean War veteran, had been Sergeant At Arms. No one remains who remembers the name of the Sergeant At Arms prior to Clayton. High water had deterred spectators so the crowd was sparse. The ceremony was to honor those who sleep beneath the grass, though, not those who are on top of it, so the number of attendees was irrelevant. The detail was arrayed at the east end of the cemetery, and Chaplain Ted Lee delivered a prayer before the firing detail fired off 3 volleys in salute of their departed comrades. The command to “Present arms!”was then given. Roger Pearson played “Taps,” and the detail marched back to the Main Gate to head for the Rutland Cemetery, where the process was repeated 3 more times. At the Rutland Cemetery the volleys echoed off the Woytassek Farm’s grain bins, providing double the effect. The ladies of The American Legion Auxiliary placed floral tokens of remembrance on the graves of veterans prior to the volleys being fired. The ceremonies out at the cemeteries were followed by a brief program at the Rutland Town Hall, and by the traditional community pot-luck dinner, to which everyone was invited. During the Program, Auxiliary President Carolyn Christensen recognized those who had earned years of service pins during the 2 years that covid-19 prevented the program from being held, and presented pins to those entitled to them this year, among those honored were: Pam (Jacobson) Maloney, 10 years; Brianne (Maloney) Nelson, 10 years; Taryn (Maloney) Jensen, 10 years; Ione (Bensen) Pherson, 10 years; Susan (Orth) Fust, 20 years; Sarah (McLaen) Pavek, 25 years; Carolyn (Jacobson) Christensen, 25 years; Allison Hoflen, 40 years; Joan (Jacobson) Lee, 45 years; and, Rita Preble, 45 years. Ted Lee; Bill Anderson; and, Roger Nelson; received 50 Year membership certificates and pins from The American Legion. Auxiliary member Sonja Christensen read an article from the Sargent County News of January 9, 1943 that reported on a community gathering at the Baptist Church honoring some of the local servicemen who were home on leave at that time. Woodrow Olson had served aboard the USS San Francisco in the big naval battle near Guadalcanal in mid-November of 1942 in which the American cruiser had slugged it out toe to toe with Japanese battleships. The Americans won the battle, but the San Francisco had to return to the shipyard at Bremerton WA for repair of battle damage, and Woodrow had been granted leave to return home for a few weeks while his ship was being made fit to return to duty. The newspaper report, written by the late Lou Sanderson, included the information that a poem written by Mrs. Seaquist, the wife of the Baptist Minister, which contained the names of the young men & women from Rutland then in the military service, had been read. A collection of $153.35 had been received at the gathering, and that sum was used to purchase a War Bond that would be used for the benefit of Rutland’s returning veterans when the war was over. Following this year’s program the traditional Memorial Day pot-luck dinner was enjoyed by all. The Rutland Community Club had supplied a couple of roasters of scalloped potatoes with ham that had been prepared by Mrs. Lyndsee Pherson, and were judged to be as good as those prepared by the Lutheran Ladies Aid back in the good old days. Some who had come from a distance had to cut their conversation time short due to severe weather warnings being issued by the U.S. Weather Bureau. They all plan to be back next year.
Some of those from out of town who were in Rutland for Memorial Day were: Pat Prindiville of Horace; Clarence “Stub” & Sharon Sundlie of Fargo; Becky Hicks & daughter, Ashley, of Fargo; Brenda Gibbon of Milnor; Kathy Stout of West Branch IA; Allison Hoflen of Fargo; Ann Hoflen of St. Paul MN; and, many others.Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – June 3, 2022”