Memorial Day ceremony schedule: why is there no detailed info about it online?

It irritates me that, year after year, the only detailed information about the 9 am Memorial Day ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park is via a big paid advertisement in the print edition of Northfield News. Nothing online, that I can find:

Why the dearth of information online? Is there some sort of exclusive arrangement that the vets organizations have with the Northfield News? It’s maddening.

(To see a large version of the print ad, right-click on the image and open in a new tab/window or view it here.)


  1. Jennifer Torgrimson said:

    Here’s text taken from the Northfield VFW Facebook page (which they just created this past week):
    “Monday is just around the corner, hope everyone is planning to attend the memorial day program at Vet’s Park in northfield. Program starts at 9 am but show up early to hear Chad Johnson perform an acoustic patriotic pre-show. Should be a beautiful program. Hope to see you there, signed, William Murphy Post Commander.”

    May 29, 2011
  2. I thought we had it on our calendar, but apparently it wasn’t. It’s been added. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    May 29, 2011
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    Jennifer, what’s the web address of the Northfield VFW Facebook page? I’ve searched Facebook and can’t find it.

    May 29, 2011
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    Corey, I see your event info now. But it’s minimal. You don’t have the complete schedule of who’s doing what (e.g., Rice County Commissioner Galen Malecha giving his remarks), nor “The Last Roll Call,” the listing of those vets who’ve died in the past year.

    It seems as though only the Northfield News has that info and they don’t put that online, only in the print edition. Why?

    May 29, 2011
  5. As you pointed out, the only place in town to find a complete schedule is with the NN, and that’s in a paid ad. That means the VFW/Legion brought the schedule to them (along with dollars).

    Being the new kid in town, more or less, they’re probably not as aware of Northfield Patch’s presence. That means the schedule wasn’t brought to me. Had it been, it’d be up, for free, no problem. Yes, I could have sought it out, but I don’t think breaking down the event minute by minute is that important. And, honestly, it wasn’t something I thought about.

    Everyone individual participating tomorrow brings value to the overall program. Every bit of nugget of info shared at the event is important. But I think bringing awareness to the event itself (and getting people there) is more important than worrying about who and what is going on in the course of the event.

    Every event in this town is important to someone. While Memorial Day probably carries more weight with many, there are often many events in town overlooked by every news and information outlet in town. Why harp about this one? Because of the significance of the day? Again, I’m not questioning the importance of Memorial Day, but I think it’s better to look at several folks bringing awareness to the overall day/events, than worrying about not announcing every detail. Those are my thoughts.

    For the record, Patch will be there tomorrow. We’ll have photos and video from the event.

    May 29, 2011
  6. Phil Poyner said:

    Corey, there’s something about Memorial Day that brings out the curmudgeon in Griff! See:

    Oh, according to some comment writer on the Northfield News website I’m supposed to be “screaming” because Northfield didn’t put up flags downtown this weekend. I’d just like the writer to know that I’m OK with it, and that nobody should worry that I’m suddenly going to throw a hissy fit at work, or in the car while driving, or anywhere else embarrassing or life-threatening! 😉

    May 29, 2011
  7. Arlen Malecha said:

    Phil –

    I saw the comment about screaming because the flags were not put up. ALthough I don’t think it is worth ‘screaming’ about I do wonder why they were not put up. I think it is a great way for the City of Northfield to show their respects to our Veterans, especially those who have died.

    I won’t scream about it but I will contact City Hall to find out why they were not displayed.

    May 29, 2011
  8. Griff Wigley said:

    Corey, thanks for the info. So the VFW/Legion pays the Nfld News for the ad, and then the News sells additional ad spaces below. I have no problem with that.

    I notice that of the 17 organizations listed as buying ad space in the bottom half of the ad, 6 of them are vets-related:

    VFW Ladies Auxiliary
    Northfield Area Veterans Memorial
    American Legion
    Sons of the American Legion
    American Legion Auxiliary

    Are they paying for those ads, too?

    I wonder why the Eagles aren’t there. They were listed in the ads for 2008.

    May 30, 2011
  9. Phil Poyner said:

    Arlen, it could have something to do with the particular etiquette surrounding the flying of the flag on Memorial Day; I noticed when driving through downtown Farmington this morning that there were no flags up there on the streets either (Of course, they could be putting them up later). I feel that on Memorial Day it’s appropriate to put flags on the graves of fallen veterans, and for individual citizens to fly the flag in the manner appropriate for the day. But at it’s core today’s a remembrance rather than a celebration, so in my opinion flying the flags downtown can wait until the 4th of July. Needless to say, you may feel differently and are free to disagree with me entirely.

    May 30, 2011
  10. Griff Wigley said:

    The ceremony was nicely done, once again. The sun even came out for the last 15 minutes. I’ll have photos posted later today or tomorrow. And both the Nfld News and Nfld Patch will have photos and video posted.

    May 30, 2011
  11. Arlen Malecha said:

    Phil –

    Thanks for your thoughts on the city flags for Memorial Day. I had not thought about it that way before. I am trying to recall if they were put up for Memorial day in the past or if they were put up for the 4th of July and Verterans Day.

    May 30, 2011
  12. Griff Wigley said:

    Corey, I think publicizing the names of the people does matter a lot, whether they’re part of the ceremony, worked behind the scenes to make the ceremony happen, or are among those vets who died in the past year. People are honored by name in the printed program. They’re honored by name by the Master of Ceremonies at the microphone. Why not also honor them by name online?

    In this viral online world, people whose names are published in text format make it easy for those names to be tagged, which in turned makes it possible for the names to show up in searches, Google Alerts, etc.

    Case in point: Dale Snesrud, my racquetball buddy. I’d totally forgotten that he would be among the Last Roll Call group today. Had his name been publicized ahead of time, that might have allowed me or another friend or family member to spread the word via email, tweet, Facebook, etc. so that more might be there to honor him today.

    If you do a Google search on “Dale Snesrud” now, his obit shows up first, followed by a Locally Grown blog post and tag. Not bad, but it would be even better to have his name show up in the 2011 Memorial Day Last Roll Call.

    May 30, 2011
  13. Fair enough. Next year, I’ll try to get a program ahead of time and do my part. 🙂

    May 30, 2011
  14. Griff Wigley said:

    I met with VFW Post 4393 Commander Bill Murphy today. Good things are happening there and he’s working on getting their online presence up to speed. It can’t be found via search yet but they do have an official VFW Post 4393 Facebook page. Help them out by ‘liking’ it so that they can’t create a shortcut/username.

    June 8, 2011
  15. Phil Poyner said:

    What kind of good things, Griff? I’m curious…

    June 8, 2011
  16. Griff Wigley said:

    Phil, they are apparently quite a vibrant post… lots of members, many activities for members, lots of community outreach activities, and in good financial shape.

    Bill has already updated their Facebook page so that it can now be found via both a Facebook search and a Google search.

    He’s getting going with Twitter and is considering a blogsite.

    June 9, 2011
  17. William Murphy said:

    This is my first time reading all of this and as Griff said, we met and I learned a few things I hadn’t known or even thought about as far as the capabilities of the world wide web for publicizing our events. I am dilegently working on getting facebook and twitter going and soon hope to find some cheap help building a website. As the commander of the post and the incoming 1st district junior vice commander I feel it is important that the community knows what we are doing. The internet will be our tool.

    June 21, 2011
  18. Griff Wigley said:

    Bill, I’m glad you read the comment thread and I’m thrilled you’re working on using social media for the Post. Keep us posted on all your latest efforts and we’ll help get the word out.

    June 21, 2011

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