26 May Fort McPherson, 20th Century Veterans Memorial to host ceremonies Monday | Local News
Memorial Day is a great time for backyard barbecues and pool parties, but Gov. Pete Ricketts said Monday’s holiday has a much deeper significance.
“It’s a day when we commemorate the brave men and women who paid the ultimate price so that we can enjoy our freedoms in peace,” Ricketts wrote in a statement on Saturday. “(Monday), we are able to spend a carefree day of relaxation with friends and family because of their courageous sacrifices. However, we should never forget the true meaning of Memorial Day: remembering our fallen.
“The greatness of a nation is not measured by the wars that are won but by the peace and prosperity for the people that the victories bring.”
There are a number of memorial services planned around the area including the annual event at Fort McPherson National Cemetery, south of Maxwell.
Marine Staff Sgt. Samuel P. Mortenson, who was born and raised on a farm in Curtis, will be the keynote speaker at the ceremony that begins at 2 p.m.
“He graduated in 1997 and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he obtained a degree in Agricultural Sciences,” according to the program for the event.
In 2002, he was hired by the Nebraska State Patrol and then in 2006 was transferred to Kearney, where he is currently stationed.
“Mortensen has been deployed once in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009-2010,” his biography reads. “In April 2018, he made a drug seizure that at the time was the largest domestic seizure of fentanyl in the United States.”
Also featured at the event will be bagpiper Scott Beach.
Lincoln County Judge Kent Turnbull will be the featured speaker at the annual 20th Century Veterans Memorial ceremony that begins at 4 p.m. at 2811 S. Jeffers St., in North Platte.
The Memorial honors men and women who have served and those currently serving with bricks that display their name, rank and branch of service. The first service at the cemorial was held in 2003.
There are currently 6,532 bricks in place and 24 new bricks will be installed before the 2019 Memorial Day service.
The Arnold community will also host a memorial service and Major Calvin R. King, U.S. Army, will be the featured speaker.
“Major King started his army career as a volunteer enlistee in the United States National Reserve,” a press release said. “During his early years in the military, he finished his schooling at Fort Hays State and began a career in teaching. His first job was as high school English teacher and varsity wrestling coach at Russell, Kansas. After 9-11-2001, Calvin was deployed to Qatar and Iraq 2002-2004 as Platoon Sergeant. He then signed up in the active military and served in 2007-2008 in Qatar as Medical Logistics NCOIC (non-commissioned-officer-in-charge).”
King has since moved through the officer ranks and had a harrowing deployment as a captain in Afghanistan, where he was wounded by hostile action by an IED (improvised explosive device) and received his second Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, the release said.
The service will take place at 10 a.m. at the Arnold Cemetery, south of the Sandhills community on Nebraska Highway 40.