by Dennis Dalman
A former college professor, a police officer and the Sartell American Legion commander – all of them veterans – will be three of the main speakers at the Sartell Memorial Day ceremony in Veterans Park.
History author and former professor Bill Morgan of Sartell will be the keynote speaker at the Sartell Memorial Day ceremony in Veterans Park.
The event will begin at 9 a.m. Monday, May 28. If it should rain, the ceremony will be moved to the Sartell Community Center.
The title of Morgan’s talk is “Wounds of War: Honoring America’s Veterans.” Morgan will share Sartell-based stories of wartime as well as some experiences from his own family background.
Morgan said he feels honored that he was asked to speak at the ceremony.
“My talk will not be a long one,” he said. “It will last 10 minutes, right to the second.”
Chuck Haselkamp, Sartell American Legion commander, will also address the gathering, along with Adam Vande Vrede, a Sartell police officer who is also a veteran.
Political leaders who will speak are State Sen. Majority Leader Michelle Fischbach (R-Paynesville) and State Rep. Tim O’Driscoll (R-Sartell). O’Driscoll is the one who began the successful, annual Memorial Day ceremony at Sartell’s Veterans Park about a dozen years ago.
Along with the speakers’ comments, there will be the Posting of the Colors, a gun salute, the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem, a blessing by a pastor, a patriotic medley by the Sartell-St. Stephen High School Marching Band, the placement of flags by Scouts and refreshments following the ceremony.
This is the first time a professor/historian was chosen to speak at the annual Sartell ceremony. Born in Pipestone, Morgan taught American Studies at St. Cloud State University from 1978 to 2000, when he decided to retire. He is the author of several books about local history and is a specialist in architectural history. For years, he has written a guest column about local history for the St. Cloud Times.
Morgan is himself a veteran, having served two years in the U.S. Army at Fort Eustace, Va., from 1955 to 1957. He and his wife, Judy, have lived in Sartell since 1999. Both are active members of the Sartell Senior Connection.
Rep. O’Driscoll of Sartell said this year’s Memorial Day, here as everywhere, is special because Nov. 11, 2018, will mark the end of World War I.
Furthermore, this year is the 100th anniversary of the founding convention that established the American Legion in Minneapolis, locally and for the entire nation.