Memorial Day Observances Older Than Faribault Incorporation
The city of Faribault this year is celebrating it's incorporation 150 years ago. In 1872 which by the way is the same year Northfield was incorporated.
A proclamation signed each year by the Mayor of Faribault typically includes some historical information about the first Memorial Day observance on May 30, 1869.
Exact same date as Memorial Day 2022 falls on.
153 years to the day after the first observance the City of Faribault literally marches on.
The proclamation states the event was conducted under the "leadership of local GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Post Commander J.C. Turner." It noted he "took command of the first march to Good Shepherd Cemetery."
The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army who served in the American Civil War. It was founded in 1866 in Springfield, Illinois and would grow to hundreds of posts across the nation but predominately in the north.
It was dissolved in 1956 at the death of it's last member Albert Woolson (1850-1956) of Duluth, Mn.
The Rice County Central Veterans Association has been in charge of Memorial Day and Veterans Day observances in Faribault for at least the last 25 years.
It was incorporated as a 501C3 status (tax exempt, non-profit) organization in 1990.
This year will be the same format I've seen since I arrived in Faribault. My first day on the job at KDHL Radio was June 1, 1987 so the first Memorial Day I would be working would have been in 1988.
We have been broadcasting the Central Park ceremony live on KDHL as long as I can recall. By Radio Marti in my first five years or so. Then bag cell phones followed by regular cell phone, smart phones and now the past couple of years we connect right to the KDHL studio board through a app on a station phone.
9:00 a.m. a brief Opening Raising of the Flags ceremony takes place at the Rice County Courthouse. After the approximately 15 minute service (It's usually shorter) people line up for the parade which starts at 10:00 a.m. beginning at the Buckham Center going north down Central Avenue to 6th Street NW then west to the Central Park Band Shell for a program.
The program is typically less than an hour these days.
Grand Marshal for the 2022 Memorial Day Parade is Mark Quinlan, 1974 Faribault High School graduate who joined the Navy in June of 1980.
Quinlan had basic training aat Great Lakes Naval Base in Chicaog, Illinois. While there he volunteered for submarine duty.
Quinlan attended Submarine School at Groton, Connecticut attached to the USS Parche SSN 683. A fast attack submarine. It was the most decorated top secret boat in the Navy and Mark was a Torpedoman.
The Parche mission was to go undetected over to the Soviet Union, sit on the bottom of the ocean and send out divers to tap into Russian phone lines.
The Parche was named after a butterly fish and the World War II Parche.
The submarine was stationed out of Vallejo, California.
While serving on board Quinlan was twice awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, The Navy Expeditionary Medal, Battle Efficiency, Commadore Citation and Sea Service Ribbon.
After leaving the Navy Quinlan joined the Air Force Reserves.
The 934 Airlift Group attached to the 27th Aerial Port Squadron. The mission of the squadron was to be ready on short notice to go anywhere in the world and put up runways for an air base.
Mark Quinlan was awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Commindation Medal, 27 Arial Porter of the Quarter (2).
He retired from the reserves just before September 11, 2001.
Quinlan still serves on the Fort Snelling Memorial Rifle Squad.
The 2022 Honorary Grand Marshal is Army Veteran Gene Trahan who served from 1956 to 1958 as a Combat Engineer. Repairing runways in Japan (Iwo Jima) and Korea.
Honored Combat Veteran is Chuck Swanson who was drafted into the Army in November 1965 and was sent to Vietnam in the spring of 1966.
Swanson was wounded and awarded a Purple Heart . He was discharged in December 1967.
Each of the honored veterans is given the opportunity to speak during the Central Park Program.
Traditionally the Faribault and Bethlehem Academy High School Bands perform in Central Park.
The Rice County Central Veterans Association Color Guard presents flags. There is a laying of wreaths to honor all who gave all in service to this country.
I hope to see you at the Rice County Courthouse or in Central Park Memorial Day. Possibly like me you will go to both observances.
There is still a war going on in Ukraine.