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Cemetery Dedicated to Veterans in Moving Ceremony

Emily Ness
Updated: September 21, 2019 11:09 PM

With flags as tall as many of the trees surrounding them, veterans stood like pillars of strength. Dressed in uniform and badged with honor, they marched to the stage in unison as a saxophone blessed the cemetery’s scared ground.

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“The Duluth area state veteran ceremony is official after today and I think that speaks volumes for the care people up here show their veterans,” Tim Walz, Governor said.

The ceremony opened with gratitude for the veterans who served, followed by a moment of complete silence. Wind blew through the trees where red leaves mirrored that of the bloodshed men and women faced while fighting for our freedom.

The moment of silence was broken by the singing of the national anthem, which rang throughout the sky where rain clouds lingered. Drops began to fall as veterans were recognized by songs specific to their branch. Among those who stood to be recognized was Governor, Tim Walz.

“There’s nothing in today’s somewhat chaotic, divided world that unites us more than care for veterans and you will see today, this is one of the most somber and special ceremonies you’ll ever see. That I think for me is really personal and very special,” Walz said.

Special and personal it was for the many families who came to commemorate their loved ones and plan for the future.

“I will spend my eternity in one of these state veteran ceremonies. These are brothers and sisters in arms,” Walz said.

In time, the cemetery will be home to 32,000 brothers and sisters in arms. So far, it is home to 176.

“This dedication means a lot to me as a person who has a heart for Veterans. Not only does my husband lie here, but I have been a hospice worker for 17 years and I coordinated their Veterans program so it just means a lot that we can have something this close to our home,” Dee Dee Thesenvitz, wife of veteran, Paul Thesenvitz said.

Dee Dee’s husband Paul served for eight years in the air force.

“He was a great husband and father and grandfather,” grandson, Paul Thesenvitz Jr., said. “I was very happy that I got to be his grandson.”

Living or passed on, the event honored all veterans.

“I have 21 years, 3 months and 9 days. I retired in 2000,” Bruce Braun, Chaplain said.

Unified by their work, veterans celebrated the cemetery where many of their fellow soldiers rest and will rest.

“This is a place for all Veterans regardless of service time and where you serve,” Braun said.

The ceremony closed similarly to the way it began—with marching, music and a prayer.

Credits

Emily Ness

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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