BROOKINGS – At 10 a.m. Monday, the Daktronics Room at the Swiftel Center will be the setting for the annual and traditional program in observance of Memorial Day.
Prior to the start of the ceremony, the Brookings High School Band, under the direction of Ron Stary, will play a medley of patriotic martial music. Additionally, the band will play the National Anthem and at various intervals throughout the gathering.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 2118 is taking the lead in the presentation of this year’s program. Assisting are American Legion Post No. 74 and other service groups, auxiliaries and clubs. VFW 2118 Past Cdr. Loren Hanson will serve as master of ceremonies.
Highlights of the program include: Presentation of the colors and presentation of the POW/MIA Flag by the VFW/American Legion Color Guard; Pledge of Allegiance by the audience; the National Anthem, played by the BHS Band and sung by the audience, with Miss South Dakota 2018 Carrie Wintle, Miss South Dakota Outstanding Teen 2018 Jessica Benson and Miss South Dakota 2019 candidates also participating; invocation by Auxiliary Department Chaplain Wanda Mix; opening remarks and introduction by Past Cdr. Hanson; welcome by Brookings Deputy Mayor Ope Niemeyer; reading of Logan’s General Order by Rick Nase, VFW; recognition of Gold Star families by Past Cdr. Hanson; and dedication of burial flags by American Legion Post No. 84.
Lt. Col. Richard Reid, South Dakota Air National Guard (Ret.), will then deliver the keynote address. A native of Kennebunkport, Maine, the colonel was a distinguished Air Force ROTC graduate and earned his commission at the Citadel (the Military College of South Carolina). A professional engineer, Reid currently serves as associate dean of Engineering for Academics and Extension at South Dakota State University.
During his 28 years of military service, he served in a variety of assignments in the United States. In February 2003, his unit, the 114th FW Civil Engineering Squadron, was activated to serve in Iraq in support of Iraqi Freedom. While deployed, the colonel led the building of two of three air bases captured in Iraq.
Reid has received numerous military awards and decorations, including the Bronze Star for meritorious service. He retired from the SDANG in 2011 following 28 years of service.
The colonel’s address will be followed by a musical tribute by the BHS Band; a floral tribute by service organization auxiliaries; a moment of silence; honor guard salute; taps; benediction; and retirement of the colors.
Following the ceremony, a potluck lunch will be served at the VFW, 520 Main Ave., to honor all veterans and their families.
Additional Memorial Day observances will be held at 1 p.m. at the Neighborhoods at Brookview and at United Living Community; at 2:30 p.m. at Edgewood Vista; and at 3 p.m. at StoneyBrook Suites Assisted Living.
At 10:30 a.m. Monday, Pike-Huska American Legion Post No. 230 and its auxiliary will host a Memorial Day observance in Community Hall. Following the program, march to the monument and honoring of Aurora veterans, the Ladies Auxiliary will serve a potluck lunch in Little Hall.
Guest speaker is Connie Johnson, coordinator for Veterans Services at South Dakota State University.
The annual Memorial Day program in Elkton is planned for 10 a.m. Monday at the Elkton Community Center.