A ceremony fit for a military man

Robin Nisswandt holds the program she drafted for the ceremony and the American flag given to her near Isaac Reese’s new headstone. Photo by Derrick Knutson Reese was nearly 90 years old at the time of his death in Amador Township. Civil War re-enactor Ken Martens came from Stillwater to hold the American flag at the memorial service. Honored with an American flag. North Branch American Legion Post 85 and North Branch VFW 6424 point their rifles to the sky for a 21-gun salute.
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Robin Nisswandt holds the program she drafted for the ceremony and the American flag given to her near Isaac Reese’s new headstone. Photo by Derrick Knutson

 

Civil War veteran buried in Almelund cemetery gets a gravestone—

Isaac Reese didn’t get the military funeral service and grave marker he deserved after his death 95 years ago, but thanks to his great-great-granddaughter, Robin Nisswandt, Reese had a full military memorial service Saturday, and, come spring, those who walk by his grave will see a new headstone atop the burial ground.About two dozen people attended the 11 a.m. ceremony at Immanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery in Almelund, which was marked by frigid, below-zero-degree temperatures and bright, clear-blue skies.The service included a presentation of the American flag by Civil War re-enactor Ken Martens, a 21-gun salute by North Branch American Legion Post 85 and North Branch VFW 6424, the giving of an American flag from Post 85 member Ron Rollins to Nisswandt and the playing of taps.“It almost brings a tear to your eye when they play taps like that,” Nisswandt said.

Martens, who has been doing Civil War re-enactments for more than 20 years, said he thought the ceremony was well done, and he added it was among the coldest ones he had ever attended.

Nisswandt, of Oakdale, found out about three years ago by doing family tree research at the Minnesota History Center and Chisago Lake Lutheran Church that her great-great-grandfather was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery in Almeund. When she visited the site, she found a marker for his wife, Johanna, but no marker for him.

Subsequently, she decided she wanted to get her long-deceased family member a marker, which she was able to do with the help of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.

That headstone was finished in late November, and it was placed on the snow covering the burial site for the ceremony.

When the ground warms in the spring, it will be set into the ground like the other markers in the cemetery.

“I was amazed with the turnout, especially with how cold it was, Nisswandt said. “I was just really, really pleased.”