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American Legion hosts district conference Sept. 21-23

Hoards of American Legion members will flock to New Richmond Sept. 21-23 for the district conference.

Sixty-one posts -- about 6,000 members -- make up the 10th district, said Ed Cooper, chairman of the conference committee.

The conference will begin Friday, Sept. 21, with registration at 5:30 p.m. and a spaghetti dinner. On Saturday, Sept. 22, registration opens at 8 a.m., followed by the opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. The opening ceremony will feature welcome messages from Mayor Fred Horne, Police Chief Mark Samelstad, Fire Chief Jim VanderWyst and a representative from the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office. Reports from the various county commanders and standing committees will follow.

On Sunday, Sept. 23, the general session begins at 9:30 a.m. and lasts until about 11 a.m. Following the session, the Legion will host a memorial ceremony, dedicated to the deceased members.

Names are read during the session, with the ringing of a bell for each name listed. The names are read post-by-post and organized by county. After the names are read, the commander from each county will present a wreath. When the service is completed, the rifle squad will perform and Taps will be played.

Several prestigious guests, including Department Cmdr. Wayne W. Jensen, Alternate National Executive Council member Steve Krueger and Past Department Commander Denise Rohan, will attend the conference.

Jensen will be attending the banquet on Saturday before returning to Milwaukee. Rohan's husband Mike will be leading a leadership course at the National Guard Armory on Saturday.

New for this conference are the training sessions geared specifically toward different elements within the American Legion, Cooper said.

Training will be offered for the Women's Auxiliary, the Sons of the Legion and the leadership training for the Legionaires. No training will be offered for the Legion Riders.

The Fall District Conference serves as one of only two events each year. The next conference in slated for April 2013 in River Falls.