LeMars Daily Sentinel
June 1, 1970


Solemn faces accompanied the solemnity of the LeMars Memorial Day Avenue of Flags ceremony Saturday morning on the Plymouth County court house lawn. Wasmer Post American Legion Commander Mike Dull was Master of Ceremonies. Parade Marshal was retired Plymouth County Sheriff Frank Scholer. The large crowd stood very quietly for the address by Dr. George Dunn, LeMars, retired minister whose son was killed during World War 2.

Colors were advanced for the dedication of 31 additional flags of veterans Saturday morning at the court house lawn. After an absence of two years, men of LeMars Co. A., Iowa National Guard, carried the flags down through the avenues which now surround the court house. There were some 283 flags this year which remained on display throughout the day.

LeMars Municipal band under the direction of Phil Hauan played military marches and the Star Spangled Banner. Co. A’s firing squad stood at attention while taps were played by a band member. By order of President Nixon, the flag on the court house remained at half staff.

Parade rest for the men along the main sidewalk as the eternal flame was lit at the base of the Plymouth County court house steps.  Skies were overcast for the parade and most of the ceremony, but the sun came through just as the closing words were spoken by Mike Dull, Commander of Wasmer Post. He filled in for Fred Riter, who organized the ceremony here several years ago. Mr. Riter was absent to attend college graduations exercises for his only daughter.

LeMars Daily Sentinel, June 1, 1970


Rep. Wiley Mayne, R-Iowa, said Monday at Merrill that American soldiers killed in Vietnam are entitled as fully to the nation’s homage and gratitude as any who died in earlier wars.

Addressing Memorial Day Avenue of Flags services sponsored by Olson-Halweg Post of the American Legion, he deplored the tendency by some to belittle and criticize our forces still serving in Vietnam and veterans of that conflict.

“The draftee, volunteer or reservists who answers his country’s call during an unpopular war is just as much a hero as those of us who served in World War 2,” Mayne stated.

“His sacrifices are just as great and his service protects us all. Let us not forget on this Memorial Day our urgent responsibility to the widows and orphans of our war dead, our prisoners and their families, and those veterans who are returning seeking re-employment. They should be given every priority over those who evaded military service.”

At the Memorial Day Avenue of Flags in LeMars, there were 18 new burial flags edicated—bringing the total to 301 surrounding the Plymouth County court house.

The morning was cloudy, but rain held off and skies cleared by afternoon.  A large crowd attended the morning ceremonies on the court house lawn with Rev. Milo Morris of First United Methodist church as speaker.

The evening Municipal Band concert at 6:30 p.m. was canceled because of a tornado watch issued for north and east of Sioux City.

Although skies remained clear here, funnels were sighted in the Iowa lakes area where an estimated 50,000 persons were vacationing.  Wind damage was reported to crops  and buildings on 20 farms in the region of the Iowa Great lakes.

~Contributed by Tim Tone. Every year Tim's father's casket flag is displayed on the courthouse lawn in the Avenue of Flags.

Alfred E. Tone, WWII veteran, 1918-1962




~If you have any other 1970 year photos or stories, please share by emailing the county coordinator.