Memorial Day 2008

Memorial Day Mess
A surreal scene as fog envelops Calvary Cemetery near sunset. -Storm photos courtesy of Phyllis Luhman.

Spring has been slow in coming with lower than average temperatures. Finally one of the first very warm and mild days was Sunday, May 25, the day before Memorial Day. After a humid and cloudy day, storm clouds began to form. This particular thunderstorm system was huge and it spawned a tornado near U.S. highway 10 just east of Anoka in Coon Rapids. Damage was minimal but the storm continued eastward and tornado number 2 at Hugo was lethal being responsible for a fatality. The storm crossed the state line into Wisconsin with high winds and hail hitting the Deer Park area. The heaviest damage was on the west side of the village and Calvary Cemetery. The Deer Park's firemen, Deer Park's young people and many other volunteers were out in force at Calvary, all pitching in to save the coming Memorial Day observance scheduled for the next morning.



The timing could not have been worse for destruction of this magnitude.


Larry Gutting with chainsaw. Cleanup continued on into the night. The power was out and auto headlights had to be used after sunset. Work resumed early the next morning at first light for completion before the 10:30 a.m. program.

Morning After
Dorie and Ruth
Pictured are Ted Olson, Dorie Solum, Gary Solum, and Ruth Severson. Ruth was selling poppies as usual.

Pine Tree
The fabled 1890's era pine tree is bruised and battered but lives on. The piles of branches blocking the roadways were cleaned up and the day arrived bright and sunny as though nothing had happened.
Memorial Day Crowd
A portion of the 2008 Memorial Day crowd.
Pastor Pat Nolet
Pastor Pat Nolet was the main speaker at the 2008 Memorial Day observance. Pastor Pat will be retiring in a few weeks from the ministry.

Memorial Day 2008 will mark the first time video has been used to cover the Memorial Day event at Calvary.

Video contents:
1. The New Richmond American Legion and the New Richmond VFW salute the buried veterans at Calvary. Chuck Mehls, squad leader.

2. Lowell Fouks lists veterans honored this year and Pastor Pat Nolet of the United Methodist Church, the main speaker, opens the program with a prayer.

The American Legion/VFW squad also called at Cylon Methodist Cemetery near the 4-corners and Saint Bridget's cemetery in Stanton Township before their 10:30 a.m. appearance in Deer Park. Bob Kastens, holding the flag on the left, and Bob Kaczmarski on the far left, who were members of the former Deer Park Legion unit, participated this year as new members of the New Richmond American Legion.

Video file: 8 minutes, 13 seconds | 36,870,782 Bytes

Mobile Video file (iPods and other hand-held devices) Calvary2008.mp4: 3 minutes, 33 seconds | 18,331,411 Bytes.
VFW/American Legion salute only. Right click to download to your desktop.

Closing remarks by Lowell Fouks, Calvary Cemetery sexton:

And finally, the obvious. I got my tang tongled today because I haven't had any sleep. I thought I had a day off yesterday after all the weed whipping and the dandelion run, mowing the cemetery.

And then the weather closed in on us.

And I can't say I could be any happier than when I came out here and found so many people out here hard at work cleaning up the terrible mess. You can see a big limb off the big pine three that was planted in 1890. Half of the Utgaard tree and Farrels' had a matched set of two trees and they lost one when the two blew over - roots and all a couple years ago and now you can see there are just a few branches left.

To quote Ted Olson, he said "Its got character". But it was quite an event last night. So many people out here, so many chain saws working you couldn't step anywhere on the lawn without walking on hail stones and the fog got thicker and thicker and the power was out in Deer Park so there was no security light. So they were dragging logs and dragging out branches and sawing away and using headlights. And they all left about 10 o'clock and I went out with a flashlight to check flags and came back. I told them I would be back at 6.

I knew the only way I would be out here at 6 was if I didn't try sleeping. So that worked. Of course there were people out here ahead of me again and everybody went to town and cleaned it up beautifully. You can't do much for mangled flowers and you can't repair the trees but they sure cleaned up the mess. And I am so happy for their help. And I just thank everyone of them.

So that concludes our program for this year. And I thank you all for coming.

Boy Scout Troop 146 paints the fence at Calvary in 2007 »

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