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A community tradition

Memorial Day ceremony set for Monday

Recent Bloomfield, Genoa City, Pell Lake
Tent will return
Apr 15, 2010
May 26, 2010 | 09:25 AM
Genoa City — For as long as American Legion Post 183 Adjunct Ed Duesing can remember, his post has conducted a Memorial Day ceremony that usually packs people into the gym at Brookwood Elementary School.

"I'm going to say we have a couple hundred people in there every year, not including family members, kids, Boy Scouts, band members, etc.," Duesing said.

He said the program is something the post has done — and the community has expected — probably for longer than he's been on the post. That's 36 years.

Although Memorial Day weekend often is marked by cookouts and the start of summertime activities, Duesing said he believes people still remember to honor the memory of those who died in our country's wars.

"It's a community tradition," Duesing said. "Everybody kind of looks forward to it."

He also offered another reason why you'd best arrive at the school gym early to find a seat.

"Well, to toot our own horn, I think we have one of the best programs in the area," Duesing said. "And I do have to say Brookwood School does a very good job getting the children involved in it, too."

The typical Memorial Day activities include the school program, parade, casting of the wreath into Nippersink Creek and a potluck lunch.

Duesing said this year, there also will be a ceremony to dedicate two flagpoles at the Legion Hall, 144 Freeman St. The flagpoles will be dedicated to the memory of two post members who died earlier this year — George Marzahl and James Webb.

It all begins with the school program Monday at 10 a.m.

Duesing said he is one of the guest speakers during the program, which may also feature performances from Brookwood School District's band and choir; the Legion Ladies Auxiliary's America's White Table; a piece from Tim May, of the Sons of the American Legion; and a reading of "In Flanders Field" by Thomas Holden IV.

According to Duesing, Holden will be carrying on a family tradition in reading the poem.

"Tommy's grandfather, Thomas P. Holden, was instrumental in getting us to always do that," Duesing said.

He said the school program usually lasts about a half-hour.

After that, the parade is expected to kick off at 11 a.m.

According to Duesing, the parade lineup begins in front of Brookwood Elementary School, 630 Kossuth St. The parade travels from Kossuth to Park streets, then down Main and Freeman streets to Fellows Road.

The parade ends at the former Legion Hall on Fellows Road, near Nippersink Creek. That's when the casting of the wreath will take place.

The potluck lunch will take place after the wreath casting at the current Legion Hall. The flagpole dedication also will take place at that time.

Duesing said it's a lot to coordinate, but usually, it's worth it in the end.

"For me, the most important part of it all is seeing everything come together in a very good program," he said.

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