President/CEO Diana Anderson shares her Memorial Day experience in Luverne, Minn.
The soggy weather did not dampen the gratitude that folks across southwest Minnesota expressed at Memorial Day services across the region. I had the privilege of attending a special dedication and remembrance in Luverne on Sunday evening.
The community gathered first to recognize the generosity of a family that has helped transform the Rock County Courthouse grounds into an inspiring Veteran’s Memorial to honor all Rock County men and women who have served their country. Warren Herreid II and Jeannine M. Rivet through their family foundation created the memorial, situated on the south lawn of Courthouse Square. At the center stands a granite obelisk engraved with the names of local veterans who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.
At dusk, those names were read aloud, starting with WW I. My brother-in-law, Don Reker, approached the microphone and read the names of the 10 who died in Vietnam, including his brother, Bob Reker. Bob was just 21 when he was killed in action in 1969.
I’ve participated in many meaningful Memorial Day services, but this experience brought a deeper understanding of the true sacrifice that our military men and women have made over the years to protect the wonderful life I enjoy.
My Dad served in Korea, but he never talks much about it. Sitting there on Sunday in the gentle rain with my friends and family, I was filled with gratitude for his service and safe return. I was overwhelmed by the loss that the Reker family and so many others have experienced, and I was inspired by the commitment of people like Warren and Jeannine to make sure that we never, ever forget.