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Monday News, May 31st

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“Avenue of Flags” Program Scheduled For Today At 10:00 am

(Le Mars) — Today is Memorial Day and the local American Legion, Wasmer Post #241 is preparing for the 56th annual Memorial Day “Avenue of Flags” program to be held at the north steps of the Plymouth County Courthouse. A major component of the traditional memorial day services are the array of American flags on display at the courthouse grounds and surrounding area. Each flag has been dedicated to a past veteran with connections to Plymouth County, and a dog tag identifying the military veteran is attached to the flag staff. Dan Plueger serves as the Commander of the local American Legion and says because of the COVID virus last year which prevented having the traditional live program at the courthouse grounds, this year even more flags will be dedicated at the ceremony.

Plueger says with those 44 additional flags, the total number of flags to be displayed is now around 1400. The flags will be on display today. Plueger says the Memorial Day program will follow tradition, and he is hoping for a good crowd to attend the services held at the county courthouse lawn.

The Wasmer Post 241 Commander says the program will feature music being performed by the Le Mars Municipal Band, along with the gun salute and the playing of taps. The Memorial Day program is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m.
This year, KLEM radio (1410-AM and 96.9 FM) will broadcast live the ceremonies, as well as we will feature the program live on the KLEM facebook page.

 

 

 

Jim Rolfes Talks About His Poem “Come Visit My Grave”

(Le Mars) — A major component to the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program by the American Legion Wasmer Post #241 of Le Mars is the reading of the poem, “Come Visit My Grave” by author Jim Rolfes of Le Mars. Rolfes tells how he
was first inspired to create the poem that is associated with Memorial Day.

Rolfes says ever since he wrote the poem he has been given compliments and high praise for saying what many people were thinking. The Le Mars American Legion member says the praise has come from all parts of the nation.

Rolfes says there have been thoughts from others thinking the poem “Come Visit My Grave” should be included as part of the Arlington National Cemetery, but he says some of those initial efforts have stalled. Rolfes often gives tours of the Plymouth County Veterans Park to charter bus tours that arrive at Le
Mars. He says many times, those charter buses have veterans, and he says they have shown their appreciation of reading the poem at its permanent home at the Plymouth County Veterans Park.

Rolfes poem is also featured on the front of the Veterans semi-trailer that stores the American flags for the Avenue of Flags program. Rolfes admits even after all these years after writing the poem, he still gets a bit emotional when reading his poem at the Memorial Day Avenue of Flags program. He says other American Legion posts across the state have incorporated “Come Visit My Grave” poem into their own Memorial Day programs.

 

 

 

Meteorologist Writes Book About Derecho Storm

(Des Moines) — Many Iowans would like to forget much of 2020, but the powerful storm that slammed the state last August is being remembered in great detail in a new book, “Derecho 911: Iowa’s Inland Hurricane.” Retired T-V meteorologist Terry Swails and his journalist wife, Carolyn Wettstone , co-authored the book about the unprecedented windstorm that devastated their home state.


While Swails offers an in-depth look at the weather patterns and conditions that created the storm, Wettstone focuses on the human-interest perspective. He says it’s important to preserve the narratives of the people who lived through the natural disaster.

The damaging derecho was a stunning surprise and Swails says no one could have predicted how quickly it intensified.


Winds in the storm peaked around 140 miles-an-hour in the Cedar Rapids area, shearing off up to 70-percent of the city’s tree canopy. Those winds were so powerful, they were the equivalent of an E-F-3 tornado or a category-four hurricane.

The couple now lives in Portland, Oregon and happened to sell their Marion home just prior to the derecho. Order the book through the website: derechobook.com.

(photos contributed.)

 

 

 

Third Teen In Crash With Train Dies

(Murray, IA) — A third teenager who was in a pickup struck by a freight train Thursday in rural Clarke County just east of Murray has died. The Iowa State Patrol says 15-year-old Rylon Cook of Osceola has died from his injuries. The Patrol says 14-year-old Brooklynn Eggers, and 15-year-old Gavin Werner, both
of Murray, died in the crash. The 16-year-old driver of the pickup truck is still hospitalized in serious condition. The State Patrol crash report says the pickup truck attempted to cross a marked railroad crossing in front of the train and was struck the pickup truck on its passenger side.

 

 

 

Volunteers Search For Missing Montezuma Boy

(Montezuma, IA) — Hundreds of volunteers searched for a missing 10-year-old Montezuma boy Sunday. Xavior Harrelson was last seen around 11 a-m Thursday near his home in Montezuma. He is four feet, eight inches tall, weighs 100
pounds, and has brown hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a red shirt and blue pajama pants with black high-top shoes when he disappeared. About 375 volunteers and 125 law enforcement officers and first responders gathered at the Montezuma High School Sunday morning and were being bused to search
locations.

 

 

 

Ceremonies Planned For Memorial Day

(Undated) — Ceremonies are planned across the state today (Monday) to mark the Memorial Day holiday. The Iowa Department of Veteran Affairs will hold its annual official state observance on Facebook Live. The live broadcast begins
at 8 a-m and will feature Retired United States Navy Vice Admiral Michael T. Franken as the keynote speaker. The Iowa Veterans Cemetery is open for in-person visits.

 

 

 

Ag Secretary Asks For Expedited Investigation Of Cattle Prices

(Des Moines, IA) — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig is asking U-S Attorney General Merrick Garland to request that the Department of Justice (DOJ) expedites its investigation into potential price disparities and anticompetitive practices in the live cattle market. In a letter to Garland, Naig says the state’s livestock producers have waited for more than one year
while the D-O-J investigates the pricing disparities in the cattle market as profits have dwindled.