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Residents pay tribute to fallen during Memorial Day service

Despite warm temperatures, Albert Leans paid tribute to the fallen Monday during the annual Memorial Day service at Graceland Cemetery in Albert Lea.

Fourth District Freeborn County Commissioner Chris Shoff was the speaker at the event and talked about Freeborn County’s long-standing history of supporting its veterans, whether through things such as the county veterans memorial, the American Legion, the Veterans Affairs Clinic, and also through the actions of its people.

He said his father, former Albert Lea Mayor Niles Shoff, was one of the veterans who was positively impacted by the area’s welcome of its veterans and who ultimately decided to live in Albert Lea.

“No words will ever do justice to that sacrifice,” he said of those military personnel who gave of their lives for the country.

After Shoff’s remarks, representatives of various military and veterans group placed wreaths by the cemetery’s veterans memorial. Groups represented were the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 447, American Legion Post 56, the women’s veteran group, Disabled American Veterans, Minnesota National Guard, American Veterans Post 47, a Gold Star family and POW-MIA memorials.

Paul Nolette with the American Legion Post 56 said the Legion celebrates its 100th anniversary this year and will continue to serve area veterans into the future.

“Freedom isn’t free,” Nolette said.

In addition to the remarks, the Albert Lea Community Band provided prelude for the service and also played the national anthem.

The Careyaires sang a military medley and tribute to the military branches as well as “God Bless America” at the close of the service.