New Prague will honor those who served Monday

Donald Walser, a retired attorney who served as judge advocate for the American Legion, Department of Minnesota, for 20-plus years is the guest speaker for New Prague Memorial Day program, Monday. (Submitted photo)

New Prague and area residents will have the opportunity to honor those who served their country in the military or were taken from us or have passed away since their service during the annual Memorial Day services.

Monday, May 27, begins with visits to area cemeteries to honor war dead and those who have left us after their service ended. The schedule of cemetery services includes:

• 9 a.m., St. Patrick;

• 9:25 a.m., St. Benedict (change from last year)

• 9:55 a.m., Lanesburgh;

• 10:15 a.m., Union Hill;

• 10:30 a.m., Czech National;

• 10:45 a.m., St. Wenceslaus.

Memorial Day Parade Following the visit to area cemeteries, the recognition turns to the parade from New Prague City Hall to Memorial Park on East Main Street for the annual recognition ceremony. The parade begins between 11:30 and 11:45 a.m. Parade participants will assemble in the parking lot at city hall. The participants include the New Prague Veterans Honor Guard, members of the Fourth-Degree Knights of Columbus, New Prague Area Boy and Girl Scouts and a float for area veterans unable to march in the parade.

The parade route runs south on Central Avenue from city hall to Main Street and east on Main Street to New Prague’s Memorial Park. Community members are welcome to watch the parade and then enjoy the ceremony in the park.

Ceremony at Memorial Park The ceremony in the park at the veterans’ memorial will begin immediately after the completion of the parade. John Metzdorff, American Legion Post 45 commander, will be the master of ceremonies at the event.

The ceremony will include the NPHS band performing the national anthem, an invocation from Kathy Havlicek, chaplain of the New Prague American Legion Auxiliary and a greeting from New Prague Mayor Duane Jirik.

Donald Walser, a retired attorney who served as judge advocate for the American Legion, Department of Minnesota, for 20-plus years is the guest speaker. A threeyear Vietnam-era Army veteran, Walser served in Frankfurt, Germany, in the headquarters of the 3rd Armored Division. The division defended a sector of the iron curtain during the Cold War. He attained the rank of specialist fifth class and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.

Walser is a member of Hutchinson Legion Post 96. He has held national appointments in the American Legion, serving as vice chairperson of the national constitution and bylaws committee and as parliamentarian at the national conventions. Walser resides in Hutchinson with his wife, Susan, and his grandson, Nick.

After the presentation, George Tupy, chaplain of the New Prague American Legion post, and Josie Ceplecha of the NP American Legion Auxiliary, will read the names of New Prague’s deceased veterans. There will be the laying of a ceremonial wreath at the veterans’ memorial, a rifle salute and the playing of taps.

In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to the Park Ballroom.

Mass at St. Thomas Mass will and a Memorial Day program will be held at the Church of St. Thomas (24613 St Thomas Rd.) in St. Thomas Monday, May 27.

The Rev. Roger Hessian will lead the Mass. beginning at 9 a.m.

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