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Nation of Patriots Tour stops in Albert Lea for ceremony

By Abigail Chalmers

The Nation of Patriots flag tour stopped in Albert Lea July 31. The tour, a cross-country trip of an American flag from one Legion post to the next, is a fundraiser for veterans and their families.

The ceremony began at 5 p.m. after the Mason City American Legion Riders arrived in the North Broadway parking lot. Albert Lea American Legion Riders Assistant Director Larry Larson welcomed the guests before passing the microphone off to Sophie Lee, who sang the national anthem.

Then, two of Albert Lea’s Legionnaires folded the flag as Larson spoke and described what each of the 13 folds represented. Hunter Schaer of Mason City presented the flag to Albert Lea’s Ole Olson.

District 27A Rep. Peggy Bennett and state Sen. Gene Dornink attended the ceremony and delivered speeches, thanking the Legionnaires for their contributions to the country.

After the ceremony, people were free to mingle and enjoy the pulled pork sandwich meal served in the American Legion building across the street. The following day, Albert Lea’s riders escorted the flag to Eden Prairie to continue the tour.