Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A photo essay: Celebrating Memorial Day in Faribault May 25, 2015

The Color Guard always leads the parade.

The parade begins with the Rice County Central Veterans Association Honor Guard/Color Guard leading the way.

FOR THE THIRTY-THREE YEARS I’ve lived in Faribault, I’ve rarely missed a Memorial Day parade and the program that follows in Central Park.

Little Ivan arrives for the parade in a car pushed by his dad, Jake.

Little Ivan arrives for the parade in a car pushed by his dad, Jake.

It’s a time-honored tradition of music and marches, salutes and speeches, flags and families.

Saluting the flag.

Saluting the flag at the ceremony in Central Park.

I’m proud to live in a community where patriotism and service to country and respect for the American flag and all it means runs strong from generation to generation.

From kids to adults, many are dressed in a patriotic red, white and blue.

From kids to adults, many are dressed in a patriotic red, white and blue.

Honorary Grand Marshall, Adrian Gillen, rides in the parade alongside his wife, Jean. The couple both served their country and were duo grand marshalls.

Grand Marshal, Adrian Gillen, rides in the parade alongside his wife, Jean. The couple both served their country and were duo grand marshals.

David Kirkpatrick, who is my eldest daughter's classmate, was the honorary grand marshall.

David Kirkpatrick, who is my eldest daughter’s classmate, was the honorary grand marshal.

The Shattuck-St. Mary's Crack Squad always marches in the parade and always fires their guns.

The Shattuck-St. Mary’s Crack Squad always marches in the parade and always fires their guns.

Cub

The Scouts always hand out American flags during the parade.

The parade includes vintage vehicles.

The parade includes vintage vehicles.

You know the parade is ending when horses and riders arrive.

You know the parade is ending when horses and riders arrive.

At Central Park, the Bethlehem Academy Band awaits their turn to play the National Anthem.

At Central Park, the Bethlehem Academy Band awaits their turn to play the National Anthem.

Some attendees clutch American flags.

Some attendees clutch American flags.

Honored veterans Adrian Gillen, left, and brothers Matt and David Kirkpatrick.

Honored veterans Adrian Gillen, left, and brothers Matt and David Kirkpatrick.

Veterans Travis Quinlan watches the program at the park with hundreds of others.

Veteran Travis Quinlan watches the program at the park with hundreds of others. He was also a classmate of my eldest daughter.

Hundreds gathered in Central Park for the program, presented on the bandshell. The Girl Scouts participated with a presentation on flag folding and more.

Hundreds gathered in Central Park for the program, presented on the bandshell. The Girl Scouts participated with a presentation on flag folding and more.

Archie Temple walked in the parade and then arrived at the park for the Memorial Day program. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1952-1956, during the time of the Korean War.

Archie Temple walked in the parade and then arrived at the park for the Memorial Day program. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1952-1956, during the time of the Korean War. That’s his original Navy uniform.

Honored combat veteran David Kirkpatrick address the crowd as grand marshalls Jean and Adrian Gillen watch.

Honored combat veteran Matt Kirkpatrick addresses the crowd. Grand marshals Jean and Adrian Gillen are seated next to the podium.

David Kirkpatrick gives a few brief remarks.

David Kirkpatrick speaks briefly.

As is tradition each year, members of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 43 place wreaths on the memorial cross.

As is tradition each year, members of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 43 place wreaths on the memorial cross.

The Color Guard is an important part of the day's events.

The Honor Guard/Color Guard is an important part of the day’s events.

As they left the park, veterans Travis Quinlan, left, and David and Matt Kirkpatrick posed for one last photo. Travis and David were Faribault High School classmates.

As they left the park, veterans Travis Quinlan, left, and David and Matt Kirkpatrick posed for one last photo. Travis and David were Faribault High School classmates.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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26 Responses to “A photo essay: Celebrating Memorial Day in Faribault”

  1. Middle America at its finest. God Bless America and those who serve.

  2. hotlyspiced Says:

    Such an important day and I’m glad these veterans were honoured. As you know, we’ve just had ANZAC Day here and I always find the parades very emotional. Lovely to see NYC isn’t the only place to have a ‘Central Park’! xx

  3. Almost Iowa Says:

    A wonderful collection of photos.

  4. Beth Ann Says:

    I always get teary eyed at parades like this. Always. Thanks for the lovely images even if I am late to the game at looking at them.

  5. Janelle Parry Says:

    Dear Audrey, your pictures of the parade touch my heart and fill me with pride. I hope tradition and rememberance endure and seeing the young people there makes me sure it will. Our local news in Tampa showed three services done in Easton, MInnesota, part of Faribault county, I thought that was special. Not that I’m partial to my Minnesota roots 🙂

    • One must always remain loyal to one’s roots, do I think.

      The community of Faribault, where I live, is actually in Rice County. Rather confusing. How wonderful, though, that you saw that Memorial Day clip from Easton.

  6. Jackie Says:

    You really captured some great photo’s, Looks like many turned out to support…. and remember.

  7. Lovely photos, Audrey. We went to Fort Snelling National Cemetery yesterday where my father is buried; he was in the Navy in WWII.

  8. Great post. The older gentleman “Navy Veteran” probably served with my Grandfather.

  9. Sue Ready Says:

    I really enjoyed your photo essay. You have a knack for capturing the spirit of your community generation to generation and this was a stirring sentence you posted below I liked…

    I’m proud to live in a community where patriotism and service to country and respect for the American flag and all it means runs strong from generation to generation.

  10. Sweet Posy Dreams Says:

    Our local Memorial Day parade goes by our corner (one house away). We missed it this year because we were in Iowa. Thanks for sharing yours. Mr. Temple still looks dapper in his uniform.

    • Yes, I could not believe Archie Temple still fits into his uniform. I love when our veterans wear all or parts of their uniforms. I walked up to him and thanked him for his service to our country before asking if I could photograph him.


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