Commander Solmon to speak at Memorial Day program

Jessica Stölen-Jacobson
Montevideo American-News

On Monday, May 31st, the annual Memorial Day program will be held in Montevideo at Sunset Memorial Cemetery. This year’s Memorial Day address will be given by Arnie Solmon, Commander, American Legion Lee-Osborn Post 59. Commander Solmon comes from a family with a strong military background - his father having served in World War II, three of his brothers serving in the United States Army, another in the United States Navy, and a sister joining the Army National Guard. Commander Solmon’s own experience in the military began in 1981 when he enlisted in the United States Army Reserve, landing in the Reserve unit in Fergus Falls after Basic Training. From there, Commander Solmon enlisted in the United States Army, stationed at Fort Riley in Kansas. When his division, the 1st Infantry was sent to Germany to REFORGER in 1982, Commander Solmon spent several months abroad before finding he was to be transferred to the 6th Infantry Division stationed at Fort Richardson, Alaska. Commander Solmon's tour with the Army continued there until he decided to join the Minnesota Army National Guard in Detroit Lakes where he remained until honorably discharged in 1987. 

After being discharged from the military, Commander Solmon continued his education, and upon graduation worked in security and private investigations until 2000. From there, he went into manufacturing, working as a welder and assembler until the company he was employed at closed in 2003, then moving into a mechanic position, then supervisory position at another company. That company’s management transfer brought Commander Solmon to Montevideo in 2014. He joined the American Legion Post 59 and has been active, serving as Sergeant At Arms, 1st Vice Commander and currently Post Commander.

Monday’s Memorial Day program begins at 11 a.m. with the traditional Advancement of Colors followed by a performance of “Star-Spangled Banner” by the High School Band, the Invocation given by Craig Knutson, Chaplain of American Legion Post 59, opening comments by Past Commander of the Legion Post 59 Marvin Garbe. Following tradition, the program also includes a reading of the poem “In Flander’s Field”, and a roll call of those who sacrificed their lives in war. The presentation of wreaths will follow roll call, and Craig Knutson will lead “God Bless America” before the Salute to those who sacrificed their lives is performed. The high school band will perform “Taps” before Marvin Garbe gives the closing comments and Chaplain Craig Knutson gives the Benediction. The Retirement of Colors will close the ceremony.

After the program, the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 59 will serve lunch at the post’s Club Room. In the event of inclement weather, the program will be moved from the cemetery to the Legion.