Across the country, community members hosted gatherings this Memorial Day to honor the men and women who died in military service.
In contrast to last year's rain, it was a sunny, mild morning in Scott County, where a number of commemorative services were held at cemeteries and churches throughout the area.
The Shakopee American Legion hosted four services at area cemeteries Monday morning, including Valley, Calvary, Marystown and Shakopee Catholic cemeteries.
Each service was brief, and included a raising of the flag by Shakopee Boy Scouts as well as a salute to the fallen by honor guard members.
At 10 a.m. there was an assembly at the Legion with a program of events that acted as "a solemn remembrance of the lives lost, the men and women loved and missed."
Just a few minutes down the road in Jordan, a Memorial Day Mass was held at 8 a.m. at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church.
Flag raising ceremonies took place at St. Joe's, Calvary and Spirit Hill cemeteries.
Jordan Boy Scouts participated in the raising of the flag. Father Neil Bakker of St. John's gave an invocation at the first two ceremonies, while Pastor Caleb Boston of Sand Creek Baptist gave an invocation at the last.
Members of the Jordan Veterans Honor Guard gave a salute, and Bill Rutz of Jordan's American Legion gave a tribute to departed comrades.
"We're here today to honor American heroes, from the American Revolution to the global war on terrorism, and every battle in between" said Rutz.
The location where fallen soldiers served is less important than the heart of each of the men and women, which is what truly matters, Rutz said.
Following the ceremonies, event-goers could walk around the cemetery and honor each grave of a fallen military member, marked with an American flag. Many also had been decorated by community and family members with bouquets of flowers.
In his tribute, Rutz urged community members to reflect on ways they could support the families of those who lost a loved one in service.
"War is often not the best policy, but the heroes that war has produced are the best of America," said Rutz.
Later this year
Jordan's traditional Memorial Day parade was not able to be planned this year due to pandemic restrictions that were in effect until recently.
However, Memorial Day remembrance will continue through the summer — a special program will be hosted at Veterans Park on Aug. 19.