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Amy Dalrymple, Published May 26 2009

Remembering our country’s fallen

Six-year-old Charlie Beyer was eager to decorate his grandfather’s grave Monday.

The Fargo boy collected four shell casings from a ceremonial firing squad and planned to lay them on the grave of James Kallod, a machine gunner in World War II who earned a Purple Heart.

Beyer, dressed in a camouflage shirt and cap, attended the Memorial Day program typically held at Riverside Cemetery that was moved to the Civic Center due to rain.

“He’s all Army,” said his grandmother, LaVerne Kallod, whose husband died nine years ago. “He just loves anything to do with the military.”

Leading up to Memorial Day, Beyer and family members helped set up flags at Riverside and Holy Cross cemeteries.

“It’s good that we start a tradition of getting family involved,” said his uncle Jerry Kallod, who served with the National Guard for 26 years. “It’s good to see the kids out there.”

Area residents took time Monday to remember fallen soldiers and lost loved ones during various Memorial Day ceremonies.

Patrick Morrissey of Fargo was pleased to see the turnout at the indoor ceremony at the Civic, where many wore military apparel or red, white and blue.

Morrissey, who served in the Army during World War II at the Battle of the Bulge, said he uses Memorial Day to remember his comrades.

“We should honor those people that didn’t come back,” Morrissey said. “I knew quite a few of them.”

Participants sat in silence as Rep. Earl Pomeroy read the names of North Dakotans who have died serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Speakers during the ceremony also made note of the military’s contribution in the recent flood fight, involving the National Guard, Air Force and Coast Guard.

Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said at the peak of the flood fight, 2,000 National Guard members were stationed in the city.

At the Fargo Air Museum, many stopped to visit the Vietnam Memorial Exhibit and Wall, which will be on display through June 12.

Vietnam veteran Frank Paulus visited the exhibit to remember the people he served with in the Army.

Memorial Day carries an extra significance for the Moorhead man. Right before the holiday 39 years ago is when Paulus returned to the United States after serving 1½ years in Vietnam.

“That’s one thing I celebrate, that’s when I came home,” Paulus said.

Army veteran James Misialek of Fargo has visited the exhibit several times to connect with others who served in Vietnam.

The wall replica includes names of soldiers from Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Canadians who served with U.S. military forces also are recognized in the exhibit.

“It’s pretty gut-wrenching,” Misialek said of the exhibit. “It takes you back and makes you remember those years and the sacrifices people gave.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590