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Park Rapids American Legion Honor Guard members participate in the Century Middle School Veterans Day program Thursday afternoon. From left are Commander Mike Swanson, John Lombard, Bob Safratowich and Dave "Lefty" Anderson. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Veterans honored this week

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Veterans honored this week
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

The Park Rapids American Legion Post 212 has been a staple in the area for 93 years and continues to serve the community.

Commander Mike Swanson said the Legion provides a lot for veterans and the community.


Some of the groups that come out of the legion include the Honor Guard, Auxiliary Honor Guard and Sons of the American Legion Honor Guard.

"We provide military honors at funerals throughout the county," Swanson said.

He estimates the Honor Guard attends about a dozen funerals a year.

"This is all volunteers," Swanson said. "We want to make sure we can always provide this service to our veterans."

Honor Guard members also help with the Century Middle School Veterans Day program each year. Century students assume the roles of military personnel to pay tribute to veterans before Veterans Day. The students honored living veterans, POWs and MIAs, deceased veterans and soldiers of today on Thursday, Nov. 8.

Retired teacher Charlie Cohrs organizes the annual program.

Another project that the Legion helps with comes each Memorial Day.

Legion member Dave "Lefty" Anderson said there are close to 1,600 veterans who have died in Hubbard County. Each Memorial Day, Legion members put bronze stars on grave markers throughout the county to remember those veterans.

The Park Rapids Legion also raises money that is used to help other organizations in the community.

"Clubs come to us and ask for help and we determine which projects to help out with," Swanson said.

The Legion also sponsors baseball leagues in the summer.

As many of the current members are getting older, the Legion is seeking younger members.

"We need younger members to carry on the tradition that has been started," Swanson said.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561