Contact Katryn Conlin, Communications Director
For Immediate Release
Red Wing community organizations will join forces to commemorate Veterans Day on Friday, November 8, 2019
Ceremony at Red Wing High School will focus on the repatriation of Corporal Gudmund Christopher Johnson, Jr., who had been missing since the Korean War
Red Wing, MN (October 31, 2019) -- More than 70 years ago, Gudmund Christopher ("Sonny") Johnson, Jr. left his home in Red Wing to enlist in the U.S. Army. This November, he will finally return home to be laid to rest in the family plot at St. John's Cemetery.
In 1950, during the Korean War, Johnson was captured by Chinese forces. Sadly, he died in a prison camp, and though his remains were returned to the United States under "Operation Glory" at the end of the Korean conflict, they were not identified until August 2019. Only through family DNA samples was the mystery solved.
On the morning of Friday, November 8 (9:30 am), Red Wing High School, Hiawatha Valley Family--Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, Red Wing American Legion Post #54, and Minnesota State College Southeast will co-sponsor a Veterans Day Commemoration at Red Wing High School honoring all veterans and especially Corporal Gudmund Johnson, Jr.
Everyone is welcome to attend, and all service members, veterans, and their families are invited to sit in a reserved section of seats on the floor of the Sonju Gymnasium.
VETERANS DAY COMMEMORATION
Friday, November 8, 2019
9:30-10:30 am (please be seated by 9:20 am)
Sonju Gymnasium, Red Wing High School (Enter through Door 36, District Office)
2451 Eagle Ridge Dr, Red Wing, MN
Social Hour to follow for Veterans, Service Members, and their Guests
Sergeant First Class (US Army Ret) Lance Garrick, President of Hiawatha Valley Family--Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, and Renee Garrick will make a presentation on the repatriation of Cpl. Gudmund Johnson, Jr.
"This will be a very special opportunity for our local community to welcome home one of its own from the Korean War," said Lance Garrick. "We will pay tribute to the sacrifice of Gudmund Johnson, Jr. and honor his remaining family at the third annual Veteran's Day Commemoration."
Red Wing High School Band, a cappella choral ensemble Ovation, and Minnesota State College Southeast Patriot Brass will provide live music for the special event.
Veterans, service members, families, and caregivers are invited to stay for a Social Hour after the Veterans Day Commemoration. Marine Corps Vietnam Combat Veteran Lieutenant Colonel Richard Johnson will "saber cut" a cake, and cookies and coffee will also be served.
The funeral service for Cpl. Johnson will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, November 9 at the Mahn Family Funeral Home in Red Wing with visitation one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at St. John's Cemetery with full military honors. The funeral is open to veterans and their families.