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Remembering those who served: Memorial Day ceremony will include Civil War re-enactment

A reenactment of the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The regiment was among the first to aid the Union Army during the Civil War. Courtesy photo by the Woodbury Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9024

Local Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion posts are hosting Woodbury's Memorial Day Ceremony later this month.

The Woodbury Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9024 and the Woodbury American Legion Post 501 will host the annual event at 11 a.m. Monday, May 29, at Veterans Memorial in Woodbury. The event aims to honor service men and women.

This year's ceremony will include a Civil War re-enactment that will render a three-volley salute using mid-19th-century muskets.

The men will wear re-enactment uniforms to honor the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment, which was among the first infantry units to aid the Union Army at the onset of the Civil War in 1861.

Historians say the regiment played a critical role in the Union Army's victory at the Battle of Gettysburg by leading an outnumbered charge against Confederate soldiers.

The unit's flag is on display at the state Capitol's rotunda.

Color guards from the Woodbury High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, the Patriotic Heritage Allegiant Honor Guard and Woodbury Boy Scout Troop 559 will lead re-enactors to the memorial site.

Two World War II vehicles will also be on display at the event.

John Martin, a U.S. Army veteran and a member of the VFW Post 9024, said this year's event will likely be larger than the last.

"We like to change it up, so people come back each year," he said.

Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens will present the welcoming remarks, and Lt. Col. Gary Diamond, a Minnesota Army National Guard member and Woodbury High School teacher, will give the Memorial Day address.

During the event, visitors and family members can buy engraved pavers at Veterans Memorial, as well as engravings for benches, planters and flag pole bases to memorialize family members and friends who served in the military.

Paver purchases are tax deductible. The proceeds benefit the Veterans Memorial Council and help fund Veterans Memorial.

More information about the Memorial Day event is available at the city of Woodbury's website.