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VFW hosting annual Memorial Day program

The West Fargo VFW Post 7564 and the Ladies Auxiliary will be hosting their annual Memorial Day program dedicated to all deceased veterans on Monday, May 28, at 308 Sheyenne St.

Mark Paler, commander for AMVETS Post 8 will serve as master of ceremonies for the event which will open with a flag raising ceremony conducted by the West Fargo High School JROTC at 10:30 a.m. in memory of Kenneth Rieniets, a Korean Army veteran, who is the late husband of present Auxiliary President Agnes Rieniets. This will be followed by a special wreath placing ceremony by Glen Maurer; placing of a red rose by Agnes Rieniets as a tribute to mothers who lost sons or daughters in service; and an address at 11 a.m. by guest speaker Ryan Taylor.

Taylor is a fourth-generation, lifelong North Dakotan and a 1992 graduate of North Dakota State University, who is a rancher, writer, small business owner and a state senator, who also announced his candidacy for governor late last year.

He is not a veteran himself but was raised in a service family. Two Taylors who were part of Taylor's homesteading ancestry served in the N.D. National Guard - one was killed as a result of poison gas in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in WWI and another was spared that fate by being called in to pursue Pancho Villa along the Mexican border. Taylor's father, Marshall Taylor, was a combat veteran of the Pacific Theatre of WWII, and five of his uncles also served in WWII in combat or in combat zones.

Taylor's deep admiration and respect for all those who serve can be seen in his record of support in the North Dakota Senate for public policy that properly funds and cares for servicemen and women and their families.

Taylor and his wife, Nikki, have three children: Marshall, 8, Olav, 5, and Sylvia, 3.

The program will also include musical selections by West Fargo High School students Jordan Degerness, Walker Degerness, Jon Jahnke, Logan Reed and Chris Taylor.

There will also be a salute to the deceased veterans who have died the past year, including: VFW Post 7564 members - Robert Breding, Robert Carlson, Herman Clemenson, James Devitt, Jerry Evans, J Hajek, Russell Hanson, Earle Hopping, Duane Johnson, Edward Johnson, Phillip Johnson, Glen Keim, Donald King, Erwin Laber, Richard Laurie, Laurence Le Blanc, Glyndon Leach, Milton Lee, Melvin Litke, Larry Lund, Robert Mason, William Montgomery, Brian Nelson, Jack Nelson, Edwin Nies, Daniel Olmstead, Norman Olson, Thomas Polifka, Lynn Reilly, Lavern Renwick, Charles Richardson, Kenneth Rohrer, Albert Shone, James Tibert, Dennis Unger, Steve Wetzstein, William Wilson, Walter Witt, Steve Wiziarde; AMVETS Post 8 member - Hilbert Hagel; Post 7564 Auxiliary members - Edna Bauer, Lucille Donahue, Frieda Haar, Liz Harkema, Mae Johnson, Louise Loberg, Dolory Malnory, Vern Michel, Bertha Schneider, Devina Sherritt and Edith Tuff.

The program will conclude with the playing of taps by Matthew Montplaisir, who is the grandson of Agnes and Kenneth Rieniets.

Lunch will follow the program in the lower level of the VFW. Cost is $5 per plate for adults, children 6 to 12 years of age, $3; and children 5 and under will be free.