On a cloudless calm day, 29 PGR members came together to provide an outstanding display of Red, White, and Blue for Benedict (Ben) Auer at the Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Albany MN.
The day started with 12 members staging at the River Boat Depot in Sartell MN. Mark Kerfeld led the 8 Bikes and 1 cage from Sartell through the back beautiful winding roads from Sartell to Albany. Upon arriving in Albany we joined up with the other 17 members, had a short briefing, during which we were then blessed with the company of the Auer family. They thanked us to no end for being there for them. We then took flags in hand and set up around the front and down a short sidewalk in front of the Church in preparation for the review before the service.
At 11:00 the service started and we stood down and enjoyed the gorgeous day in a shady area, first in the parking lot then out in the Cemetery near the final resting spot. We then sent 4 members to provide a flag line at the church and the rest of us set up in the Cemetery to await the family. As the hearse left the church the 4 PGR members took up position in front of the hearse and behind the Legion Color Guard and they all marched the short distance to the Cemetery.
Following a few prayers the Legion provided the 21 gun salute and played taps. There were 2 Military Honor Guards present to remove the flag from the casket and present it to Mrs Auer. The Legion members and Military Honor soldiers did their parts flawlessly providing a tribute to Ben that was much deserved.
The PGR presence was due to some great members giving up their time when they could have done all kinds of other things. Members present were from St Cloud, Alexandria, Detroit Lakes, Brainerd, Metro N.W. and I believe one other area in the Metro. I can't thank those present enough for making this day the best possible for the Auer family. They know we care and they were truly taken back from the display you gave them. The flag line was maintained in true PGR Dignity, Honor, and Respect and I am proud to have had the opportunity to stand this day with some great people. One of the toughest times for a Mission is during the week as we all have busy lives and it is tough to miss work for too many Missions. But on this day you truly made a big difference with your presence and should all be proud of being a part of this Mission.
Next to the Church is a school and during the review I was approached by the Principal who thanked all of us for being there and for what we do throughout MN. She told me that the students were really amazed at what they saw at the Church and she wanted to know how her husband and she could join the PGR. I luckily had 30 PGR cards and gave her a few to share.
Without the statewide support given to St Cloud we could not provide the great day like today and without the help of the RC'S getting the word out we could not have the day we did. Without the great support from the people behind the scenes doing the web stuff we could not get anything done so I thank all of you that had a part in making this all work. Great job by all, Thank You!!