Stillwater’s Memorial Day ceremony to honor St. Croix Valley casualties of war will begin at 11:30 a.m. Monday, May 29 at the Veterans Memorial.
The ceremony will include a wreath laying to recognize the fallen soldiers from each of the branches of the armed forces. The ceremony will include music by the Stillwater Wind Symphony and the Croix Chordsmen, a T-6 Thunder Flight Team flyover and a rifle salute by local Veterans of Foreign War members.
The guest speaker for this year’s event is Lieutenant Colonel Bill VandenBergh, U.S. Army. Lieutenant Colonel VandenBergh is a 1986 graduate of Stillwater Area High School, and a 1990 Distinguished Military Graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Army R.O.T.C. program.
Over a 27-year military career in the Army and as a citizen-soldier in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, Lieutenant Colonel VandenBergh has served in numerous commands across the country and on various overseas assignments, to include quality time in Iraq and multiple tours to Afghanistan.
He recently returned from a deployment to Kabul, Afghanistan where he served as the Deputy Commander of the Forward Support Base, Headquarters, Resolute Support, a base comprised of over 2,400 NATO service members.
Lieutenant Colonel VandenBergh has earned numerous personal and unit awards, to include the Bronze Star and his Ranger Tab. In his role as a civilian, he is a Supervisory Financial Administrative Specialist with the Department of Veterans Affairs at Fort Snelling.
Bayport Memorial Day Parade
The Bayport Memorial Day Parade begins at 8:30 a.m. on Highway 95, between Central Avenue and 1st Avenue North and proceeds through the city to the cemetery.
Charles Halberg will be honored as Grand Marshal of the Bayport American Legion Memorial Day Parade.
Halberg, at 96 years of age, is not only the Bayport American Legion’s oldest member he is also the longest paid member of 73 years. He is a Veteran of World War II and Korea. Halberg served as Post 491 Commander in 1965 and 1966, he was the District Commander in 1975 and 1976.
Musical performances during the parade will be provided by the Minnesota Police Pipe Band, Baldwin High School Band, St. Paul Police Band, Hudson High School Band and River City Rhythm. Zuhrah Cycle Corps will also be performing.
This year’s featured speaker is Peter Orput. The Stillwater High School Band will perform selected patriotic music. Andersen Elementary students: Mikenna Johnson will recite the Gettysburg Address and Emma Odebrecht will recite Flanders Fields.
Orput has served as Washington County Attorney since 2010. Orput served in the United States Marine Corps and the Army Reserve.