Thousands gather to honor the fallen at Memorial Day services across Minnesota

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Thousands of Minnesotans have gathered to pay their respects to fallen servicemen and women of the U.S. armed forces at Memorial Day services across the state.

The largest service in Minnesota today was at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery in the Twin Cities, where thousands of people attended a ceremony and planted flags and flowers on the graves of their lost loved ones.

The ceremony featured a keynote speech from Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, who is commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans' Affairs, with music provided by the 34th Infantry Division (Red Bull) Band and Zuhrah Pipes and Drums Group, the Star Tribune notes.

WCCO reports that light rain across the Twin Cities failed to deter those in attendance, who heard speeches from several dignitaries, among them Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who highlighted this year as being the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII and 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War.

"We come every year to support those who who’ve lost their lives, the veterans and just the nature of the holiday. My husband is a veteran, my grandfather was a veteran and so this is something we do every year," Sarah Abdul, who was among those in the crowd, told WCCO.

Sen. Klobuchar will later be in Stewart, Minnesota, to present the family of Norman Kottke with the World War II medals he earned while serving, according to Crow River Media. She also presented a veteran from St. Paul with a medal on Sunday.

Elsewhere in the state, there was a Memorial Day parade followed by a service that was attended by many at Soldiers Field in Rochester, KAAL reports, while local dignitaries attended similar services in Chaska and Edina, to name but a few.

Images from today's ceremonies

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