Ames, surrounding communities to observe Memorial Day with parades, cemetery ceremonies

·7 min read
Jim McCormick on the left and Galen Stole raise flags at the Roland cemetery prior to a Memorial Day event there in 2021.
Jim McCormick on the left and Galen Stole raise flags at the Roland cemetery prior to a Memorial Day event there in 2021.

Ames and several surrounding towns are hosting events to honor fallen service members for Memorial Day on Monday.

The Ames Patriotic Council has organized a parade and ceremony “to honor those who have fallen in service to our country,” the group said in a news release.

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Matthew Harvey will be the featured speaker at the ceremony.

Harvey’s career includes command of the 445th Transportation Company in Waterloo. He also served at the Pentagon and in Afghanistan, South Korea, Canada and 15 states. His tour in Afghanistan earned Harvey the Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman Badge and Joint Meritorious Unit Award.

Retired U.S. Army officer, Lt. Col Matthew Harvey, will be the main speaker at the Ames Patriotic Council's Memorial Day ceremony Monday. Event plans also include a parade.
Retired U.S. Army officer, Lt. Col Matthew Harvey, will be the main speaker at the Ames Patriotic Council's Memorial Day ceremony Monday. Event plans also include a parade.

With a passion for military service that started in high school as Cadet Battalion Commander of his Junior ROTC battalion at Renaissance High School in Detroit, Harvey became a commissioned officer in the Army Reserves by completing the ROTC program at Michigan State University.

Harvey earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at MSU and is a Ph.D. candidate in industrial and agricultural technology at Iowa State. He is employed as a contract specialist for the U.S. Department of Technology at ISU.

Harvey also volunteers as president of the board for the Fort Des Moines Museum and Education Center. Fort Des Moines was a historical forerunner in several ways, including being the first location to train Black officers in the U.S. Army during World War I. It was also the first site where women were trained as Women’s Army Corps during World War II.

The public is invited to attend the parade, which starts at 10:30 a.m.; the ceremony begins at 11 a.m.

The parade will begin at City Hall, proceed north on Clark Avenue, then east on Ninth Street to Ames Municipal Cemetery.

“Anyone, especially any veteran, wishing to walk or ride in the parade is welcome,” the news release stated.

Participants should gather in the west parking lot at City Hall, 515 Clark Ave., at 10 a.m.

“Due to the solemn nature of the holiday, the Patriotic Council asks that parade participants refrain from distributing candy or promotional literature along the parade route,” the release stated.

The program will feature a welcome by Ames Mayor John Haila and greeting by Jay Sisco, commander of American Legion Post 37.

Members of Troop 160 prepare to set up flags on Memorial Day morning at the Ames Municipal Cemetery in 2021.
Members of Troop 160 prepare to set up flags on Memorial Day morning at the Ames Municipal Cemetery in 2021.

A color guard from the Des Moines Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol will present the colors. The Ames Municipal Band under the direction of Mike Golemo will play patriotic music. Featured singer will be Jim DeHoet. A list of the names of local veterans interred since last Memorial Day will be read, followed by a salute from the American Legion Honor Guard, according to the release.

American Legion Post 37 will provide lunch at the post, 225 Main St., after the ceremony.

Salutes to the dead will be given at 1 p.m. at the Ontario Cemetery and at 1:30 p.m. at the Story Memorial Gardens.

In case of rain, the parade will be canceled and the program will move to Ames City Auditorium at 11 a.m.

Nevada

Nevada’s Memorial Day event will begin at 9:45 a.m. with a flag raising by Boy Scouts at the County Administration Building.

Recognition of military enlistees will be read by Tim McLaughlin and a dedication prayer will be offered by the Rev. Mike Albert.

At 10 a.m., the procession to the cemetery will begin.

Nevada City Administrator Jordan Cook will offer the welcome to begin the cemetery program.

The National Anthem and other patriotic songs will be performed by the Nevada High School band, and Eagle Scout Frank Engstrom will recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Major Zachary Skelton with the U.S. Army Reserves will be the keynote speaker.

Josie Kelly, Girls State Citizen, will give the speech, “The Men Who Died Too Soon,” and Samuel Betting, Boys State Citizen, will offer a “Memorial Day Remembrance.”

Taps and “Echo” will be played by Adison Lemke and Melisa Garcia.

A tank is part of the homage to U.S. service members at Maxwell City Park.
A tank is part of the homage to U.S. service members at Maxwell City Park.

Maxwell

Ceremonies will be held at the Veterans Monument at Maxwell City Park beginning at 9 a.m.

The program will include the Collins-Maxwell High School Band, a prayer, and a short address from a guest speaker.

The Maxwell American Legion Post 249 and VFW Post 8174 will participate in the services. The Maxwell American Legion Auxiliary will place wreaths at the Veteran’s Monument, the Maxwell Cemetery, and at the Iowa Center Cemetery.

An honor guard and bugler will be provided at the services held at the following times and locations:

  • 9 a.m., Maxwell Park Memorial

  • 9:20 a.m., Maxwell Cemetery

  • 9:35 a.m., Iowa Center Cemetery

  • 9:55 a.m., Peoria Cemetery

  • 10:10 a.m., Brethren Cemetery

  • 10:25 a.m., Loring Cemetery

  • 10:50 a.m., Holy Cross

  • 11:25 a.m., Farrar Cemetery

  • 11:45 a.m., B-17 Memorial

Slater

Slater American Legion Post 260 will hold a ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday at Nelson Park in Slater. The public is invited to attend to “honor our veterans who are no longer with us.”

Roland

“Roland has a population of about 1,375 people, but every year a small band of American Legion members, the Roland-Story Middle School Band, and its citizens come together to honor those that paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country in a big way,” Post Adjutant Keith Morgan said in a news release. “The focal point for the day’s activities is a granite memorial, the flag of our nation and the State of Iowa, and flags of each service, and one honoring POWs/MIAs.”

The speaker at this year’s event will be Col. Mark G. Kappelmann, a 27-year Army veteran. He was a helicopter and fixed-wing pilot who has conducted operations in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Memorial Day ceremony starts at 10 a.m. Monday at the Roland Cemetery. People are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs or blankets.

The Roland-Story Middle School band will provide music. Members of the American Legion Post 307, American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of the Legion will all take part in the ceremony.

Students Margaret Cook, Aidan Hansen and Mikayla Carpenter will also speak.

Near the end of the event, two middle school students will play taps.

“Hearing the taps solos has a special meaning for those that have been in the military and heard taps played for those lost in the service of their county. We really appreciate Evan Byersdorfer and Dakota Lowe taking the time to learn taps and playing it on Memorial Day,” Morgan said in the release.

In the event of inclement weather, an announcement will be made on the American Legion Roland Post 307 Facebook page and the ceremony will be moved to the middle school.

“Memorial Day is but one way in which the American Legion Post 307, American Legion Auxiliary, and the Sons of the American Legion help support our veterans, their families, and the Roland community.  Now is a great time to join and help keep our community strong.  You can contact us through Facebook or Legionpost307@gmail.com,” Post Commander Jim McCormick said in the release.

Salem Lutheran Church in Roland will hold a Memorial Day Beefburger Luncheon as a drive-thru event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Salem Lutheran Church, 102 S. Main St. A free-will offering will help support missions of the church with supplemental funding from Thrivent Financial.

Story City

In Story City on Monday, the Color Guard and Firing Squad will meet at the Legion at 8 a.m.

At 9 a.m., a ceremony will be held at the Randall Cemetery, followed by an observance at Timberland Care at 9:30 a.m.

Story City American Legion members participate in the Memorial Day ceremony in 2021.
Story City American Legion members participate in the Memorial Day ceremony in 2021.

A flag ceremony will take place at the Legion at 10 a.m.

At 10:30 a.m., Bethany Life will host an observance, which will also be the starting place for the Memorial Day parade.

The parade will lead to the Fairview Cemetery in Story City, where a ceremony will be held that will include music, the placing of wreaths and speakers. Story City American Legion Post 59 members, along with Auxiliary and Sons of the Legion members, will take part in the event.

At the conclusion of the ceremony in Story City, the public is invited to have lunch at the Legion.

If you have a Memorial Day event you'd like us to add to our list, please email the information to Ronna Faaborg at rlawless@gannett.com. 

This article originally appeared on Ames Tribune: Memorial Day parades, speeches and ceremonies in Ames and Story County