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-Photo of Messenger File

A crowd of about 150 filled the amphitheater at Veterans Memorial Park for the 2021 Memorial Day ceremony. The ceremony returned to the park under clear blue skies after the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the 2020 ceremony to a short event in the Veterans of Foreign Wars parking lot after 1856.

Perhaps the darkest of American holidays, Memorial Day, will be marked Monday with ceremonies at Veterans Memorial Park and elsewhere in Webster County.

Memorial Day is the annual tribute to all those who have died fighting for the United States in the more than two centuries since the founding of the country.

The biggest ceremony is undoubtedly the one held at Veterans Memorial Park near Badger Lake, which is hosted by the Fort Dodge Veterans Council.

It will begin at 10 a.m. with a concert by the Karl L. King Municipal Band.

The program will begin at 10:30 a.m. Traditional elements of the program include the laying of a wreath in the lake to honor those lost at sea and the reading of the names of veterans who have died over the past year.

-Photo of Messenger File

Members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1856 carry the American flag and post flag into the Veterans Memorial Park Amphitheater at the start of the 2021 Memorial Day Ceremony. Members of the Karl King Civic Band stand back- plan.

Before and after the program, people will be able to experience two new memorials recently placed in the park. One is a Korean War monument donated by CJ Bio America. This company is part of CJ Cheiljedang Corp., based in Seoul, South Korea.

The other new monument honors all veterans who have received the Purple Heart, which is awarded to those killed or wounded in action. This monument was donated by Historic Bruce Funeral Home and Fort Dodge Noon SERTOMA.

Those attending the ceremony should make their way to the Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex and board a bus to Veterans Memorial Park. Buses will begin to run between the sports complex and the park at 9:15 a.m. After the ceremony, buses will take people back to the sports complex.

If it rains, the ceremony will be moved to St. Edmond Catholic School at Sixth Avenue North and 22nd Street.

Other Memorial Day ceremonies will be held in these Webster County communities:

• Dayton — 10 am Monday at Dayton Cemetery. Immediately following this ceremony, other ceremonies will take place at Bass Cemetery and McGuire Bend Cemetery.

• Duncombe — 10:00 a.m. Monday at 501 Main St.

• Gowrie — 10:00 am Monday at Gowrie Township Cemetery

• Otho — 10 am Monday at Otho Cemetery on Osceola Avenue. The event begins with the decoration of the graves followed by a program with Reverend Lana Hedeen Shea as keynote speaker. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved to Otho Methodist Church.

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