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Celebrating Memorial Day indoors

Due to rain, many communities around the area held ceremonies inside

Posted: May 28, 2019 3:36 AM
Updated: May 28, 2019 3:39 AM

MASON CITY and GARNER, Iowa - The rain didn't deter people from paying tribute to those who have given their lives to protect their country on Monday.

Both Mason City and Garner's ceremonies were planned to be held outside, but were instead moved indoors. At the All Vets Center in Mason City, Jim Wolf of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War lead the ceremony, which included a proclamation by Mayor Bill Schickel, a reading of General Orders No. 11 and the Gettysburg Address, and a guest speech from retired Marine Corporal Bill Gansemer.

Randy Solsaa was a Navy CB, a First Class Construction Electrician, for a little under 23 years. He says the turnout on Monday is still great despite the change of venue.

"We're expecting over 100, it's pretty close to that. We have 120 chairs set up, so we're getting pretty full."

At Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School, Lt. Charity Edgar is sharing her experience in the Navy Reserves. Originally from Garner, she joined the service in 2011, and was deployed to Afghanistan for a year in 2016. She followed a line of people in her family who have also served in the armed forces, with her grandfather also serving in the Navy during World War II, and her dad in the Air Force during the Vietnam era.

She says she felt compelled to join to give back to her country.

"I deployed as an Individual Augmentee with the Navy, so I didn't go with a command or unit. But I met so many great people there that I was honored and privileged to serve with and working together. There are still folks serving in Afghanistan, so definitely days like today, I like to think of them especially."

Charity's dad Gerald, who is the Director of Veterans Affairs for Hancock County, read off names of those from the county who died while fighting during World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Afghan-Iraq conflicts, as well as those serving during peacetime. 

In addition, despite being moved indoors, both ceremonies held a rifle salute outdoors.

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