Caledonia’s Memorial Day service will feature several local speakers

By Charlie Warner
Argus Editor

Next Monday, May 28 is Memorial Day. This is a day dedicated to honoring the many men and women who have served their country and given the ultimate sacrifice.

Like most communities across the United States, Caledonia will be holding a community observance on Memorial Day. The American Legion Loveless Eikens Post 191, its Women’s Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion Squadron 191, VFW Post 3833 and its Women’s Auxiliary have organized a program that will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Caledonia Area Middle/High School.

Dr. Abe Hammell

Why We Do It

One of the keynote speakers will be Dr. Abe Hammell, U.S. Navy Medical Corp., Retired. Hammell’s speech is entitled, “Why We Do It.”

“I want to explain to people why military personnel serve their country,” Hammell began. “We serve to protect the freedoms of our families, our neighbors, our friends and our country.

“There are so many people out there who want to take those freedoms away from us and change our way of life. There are many out there who’s main goal in life is killing Americans. It is the goal of our military men and women to keep those people from achieving the goals of our country’s enemies.

“This is something that is very important for everyone, especially our young people to understand. I am excited about sharing my thoughts and being part of Caledonia’s Memorial Day service.”

Hammell, the son of Joe and Diana Hammell, was a 1993 graduate of Caledonia Area High School.  He received his undergraduate degree from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa and earned his medical degree from the University of Des Moines.

Hammell served in the U.S. Navy from 2001 to 2007. He was a general medical officer on the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier that was deployed to the Persian Gulf during the Afghan and Iraq wars. Fighter planes from the Lincoln were deployed to Afghanistan twice and were part of Operation Southern Watch and Operation Iraqi Freedom during the Iraqi War.

Hammell resides in Caledonia with his wife Heather and their three children, Joey, Theron and Hadley. He works for LexisNexis as a medical review officer.

His Name Is There

Caledonia Middle School Teacher Barb Rollins will be making a presentation on a historical research conducted by her sister Angela Murphy about Ralph Freiberg, a resident from Eitzen who lost his life when his plane crashed into the English Channel during World War II.

Freiberg, who was 31 years old when he was killed, was the son of Edmund and Malinda Deters Freiberg.

Freiberg joined the British Royal Air Force and was killed shortly before the United States entered the war in December of 1941.

He was a close friend of Barb and Angela’s father, Ray Ryan, who was the editor/publisher of The Caledonia Argus for many years.

Rollins’ reading will include a letter that Freiberg sent to Ryan shortly before he died.

You can contact Charlie Warner at [email protected]