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Woodbury honors the fallen on Memorial Day

Herbert Suerth Jr., a veteran of the East Company soldiers documented in the "Band of Brothers" book and HBO miniseries, spoke Monday, May 26, at Woodbury's Memorial Day ceremony. (Staff photo by Mike Longaecker)1 / 5
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Special bands were out in full force on Memorial Day in Woodbury.

"Band of Brothers" veteran Herbert Suerth Jr. spoke at the Monday, May 26, event, while the Minnesota Memorial State Fire Service Pipe Band provided the music at the Woodbury Lions Veterans Memorial on City Hall grounds.

Suerth, who served as a private in the 101st Airborne's Easy Company during World War II, described his time among the now-storied group of soldiers. That included a dire stretch spent in the woods of Bastogne, Belgium, where American forces held a critical battle line.

A German artillery shell left Suerth seriously injured during his service in Bastogne, "but I've never regretted once volunteering for the Airborne," the Wayzata man told Woodbury Memorial Day service attendees.

The battleground at Bastogne during Suerth's time was noted for its chilling temperatures in addition to the heavy bombardment.

Suerth noted that Monday's heat drew a stark contrast as he left the crowd with his closing remarks: "I think it's worth it when I think of all the guys that can't stand here today."

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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