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Tracy Frank, Published May 31 2010

Fargo-Moorhead area honors veterans, fallen soldiers with Memorial Day ceremonies

American flags flapped in the breeze, festooned headstones and adorned shirt pockets as people honored veterans and remembered fallen soldiers at Memorial Day parades and ceremonies across the Fargo-Moorhead area this morning.

Shots from ceremonial firing squads and the solemn sound of taps reverberated throughout cemeteries and a P-51 Mustang, a World War II fighter aircraft, flew over Fargo in salute to veterans.

“Soldiers have been paying the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms since the Revolutionary War,” said Dan Stenvold, president of North Dakota Vietnam Veterans of America.

Stenvold spoke during a ceremony at Riverside Cemetery in Fargo, saying Memorial Day should be reserved for remembering the sacrifices veterans have made for their country, not as a weekend for high school graduations or as a chance to head to the lakes.

His comments drew applause from hundreds of spectators gathered for the ceremony.

See Tuesday’s Forum for more on the Memorial Day celebrations.