Minnesota News

Events around the state remember fallen service members

A person holds the new Minnesota state flag
Check Wolles (center), a member of the Fort Snelling National Cemetery Memorial Rifle Squad, holds the new Minnesota state flag during a memorial service to honor Minnesota Japanese American veterans, at Fort Snelling National Cemetery on May 16 in Minneapolis.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

Minnesota will remember fallen service members with ceremonies at national and state veteran’s cemeteries over the Memorial Day weekend.

The national veteran’s cemetery at Fort Snelling will host a Memorial Day program at 9:46 a.m. on Monday.

The event will include remarks from Gov. Tim Walz and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar. 

Memorial events are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday at all four Minnesota state veteran’s cemeteries.

The first state veteran’s cemetery opened near Little Falls in 1994; more than 10,000 veterans are interred there.

The second state cemetery opened at Preston in southeastern Minnesota in 2015, the third in Duluth in 2018 and the fourth in Redwood Falls in 2023.

The state-run cemeteries give veterans and their families a burial option closer to home.

“It’s very important, and we hear it often out here at the cemeteries,” said Erik Sogge, Little Falls cemetery administrator.

“A lot of veterans don’t really utilize a lot of benefits that they’ve earned,” Sogge said. “But the one that they want to make sure that they’re able to use is being buried at an honorable location.”

A total of 12,635 veterans are buried at Minnesota state veteran’s cemeteries.

Sogge expects hundreds of people to attend events at the four sites on Sunday and offered some practical advice for those planning to join the remembrance events.

“We encourage people to carpool,” said Sogge. “We do have some limited seating available, but we encourage families to bring a lawn chair or something else to sit in and an umbrella because we host them rain or shine.”

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