Rain washed out Memorial Day services in Wellman, but services in Kalona, Richmond, Riverside and Lone Tree proceeded between rain storms on Monday.

Kalona and Richmond

About 125 people gathered at the Sharon Hill Cemetery in Kalona for the traditional Memorial Day service.

“Last year we were battling the heat, today we had some wet weather and as it turns out, it is a beautiful day,” speaker Kevin Reece said.

A morning thunderstorm had passed, and rains held off for the short service that started with a color guard parading the American flag into the cemetery.

The Mid-Prairie band played “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” at the start and “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the conclusion.

“I think of the soldiers who fought in World War II, the famous battle of Normandy, thousands of men gave their lives that day,” Reece said. “We have to remember those people who have fallen in combat.”

Lori Reece placed a wreath at the memorial to the unknown soldier, and Scouts placed flags at the memorial.

During 30 seconds of silence, the only sound was the dozens of American flags lining the roads of the cemetery, whipping in the stiff breeze.

Following a rifle salute, “Taps” was played by trumpeter and then mournfully repeated by a second trumpeter.

The ceremony was repeated at the Catholic cemetery in Richmond in front of about 75 people. The Richmond cemetery included the reading of the names of veterans buried there.

“Almighty God, we ask you to look down upon the graves of our departed comrades and grant them the blessing and contentment that comes from laying in the bosom of you and your son,” AMVETS Sgt. at Arms Mike Welte prayed. “Remind us also so we don’t become complacent in the sacrifice they made to preserve the freedom and liberty, which we as Americans enjoy today.”

As the Mid-Prairie band played the national anthem to conclude the ceremony at the Richmond cemetery, the rain began to fall again.

Riverside

Rain did not stop Memorial Day services in Riverside Monday morning. Nearly 100 people gathered to remember those who had fallen in battle.

A color guard carrying four American flags led a procession of Scouts and veterans from the Riverside VFW up the pathway of the Riverside Public Cemetery, which was lined with dozens of American flags whipping in the wind.

The ceremony began with the singing of “America the Beautiful,” by Cindy Michael.

“Our heavenly Father, we deem this as a fitting time to pay our respects to our departed comrades,” Beverly Schneider prayed. “Let us revere them as good soldiers who fought a good fight and a just cause.”

Scouts placed red, white and blue bouquets beneath 12 American flags surrounding a grave — one for each American war. 

Mayor Allen Schneider, in the keynote address, recalled the worry of soldiers going off to war.

“My heart goes out to anyone who has had to experience the sorrow of a loved one who did not make it home,” Mayor Schneider said. “We are appreciative of the sacrifices each of them has made as well.”

Following his address, the crowd joined in singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” with their hands held to their hearts. 

A rifle salute followed. After the rifles were lowered, “Taps” was played in the distance by a single trumpeter.

An abridged version of the ceremony was repeated at St. Vincent’s Cemetery west of Riverside to a much smaller crowd. 

Beverly Schneider again offered a prayer.

“As we leave here today, let us never forget our fallen men and women, and let us strive to honor their memory, by carrying forward with the same spirit of service and sacrifice.”

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