Thirteen marchers walked 28 miles from Red Wing to Hastings on Memorial Day. The marchers included Veterans from the Navy, Air Force, Army and the Marines (still on the hunt for the Coast Guard "unicorn!"). First time marcher Donald Roome from Red Wing, at 71 years old broke the oldest Marcher record. We want to thank everyone involved for their contribution. Please check them out on Our Volunteers page. Also check out pictures from this year's event below.
Interested in next year's event?
Great! Like our Facebook page and bookmark this website for updates throughout the year.
Thank you to MN Coaches & Schlomka's for
once again supporting our Marchers!
We are a group of Veterans from all branches of service, as well as family members and friends who road march (aka walk) 28 miles on Memorial Day to honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. We walk For Them and to raise awareness for the meaning of the holiday. A bonus reason is that it gives us Vets and other walkers an excuse to hang out. We meet in Hastings early that morning (445am early) and take a shuttle bus courtesy of MN Coaches to our start point in Red Wing. We step off at 6am and end in Hastings between 5-6pm. It's very doable. We walk as a group, this is not a race of any kind. We try to keep it around a 3mph pace and stop every hour at designated checkpoints for a 10-15 min break. Thanks to these Volunteers we have Check Point Hosts that provide drinks and snacks along the route. Thanks to Schlomka's we do have port-o-potties at every stop too. We celebrate at the end in Hastings on the riverfront at the Veterans Memorial and Rotary Pavilion. **Normally we'd have live music and food but due to restrictions this year we are keeping the finish minimal. The public is still very much welcome to attend for the National Anthem and planned program.
We place Honor Markers along the route every mile to honor our fallen comrades. All branches of service are represented. Multiple conflicts are represented. Walkers may request a new marker for someone that has died while serving our country. Just note that when registering.
We walk along a scenic route named the "Great River Road" from Red Wing to Hastings, MN along Highway 35. It has a great start near the Field of Honor in Bay Point Park and on our final stretch we cross the Hastings arch bridge over the Mississippi to the Veterans Memorial and Rotary Pavilion on the river. If there ever was a route For Them, this is it.
We walk to honor these fallen comrades as well as the over *626,000 others who have given their lives while serving our country since the Civil War. You'll see the list includes members from all branches of service and both men and women. Walkers can post new markers in 2021 to honor a friend or family member. Just note that when registering here.
(*according to the U.S. Army Military Institute)
To Donate or Sponsor
Thank you for considering to donate or sponsor, but we have suspended fundraising efforts again in 2021. Instead we ask for those who wish to donate to support our local businesses hit with a difficult time this past year. A list of our past supporters can be found on Our Sponsors page.
We are a non profit!
Memorial Day March For Them is a Minnesota nonprofit corporation with a federal 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. All donations made to MDMFT are tax deductible.
What is the money for?
When we are fundraising the donations and sponsorships go towards supporting the event and its growth. The more we can raise, the larger the event can be. This includes the public celebration dinner and entertainment at the finish. It also includes the tshirts and supplies to support the march that we are unable to get donated. We are trying to keep the cost to Veterans and others who walk to little or nothing. Any remaining funds will be saved for seed money for next year's event.
Thank you to all of our Volunteers and others involved who made 2021 a success!
Route Support Volunteers
Geoff Bruce - March Route Support
Kathleen O'Connor - Checkpoint & Transportation Support
Brian Bruce - Honor Markers Pick Up & Route Support
All CheckPoint Hosts (see list below)
Board of Directors
Laura Slusarczyk - Board Chair
Sarah Hemmelgarn - Secretary
Kris Warner - Treasurer
Jessie Nowak - Member
Elizabeth Markuson - Member
Patrick O'Connor - Member
Our 2021 Checkpoint Hosts
CP 4 BreAnna Hanson & Martha Hanson
CP 7 Brian Bruce
CP 10 Kathleen O'Connor & Family
CP 13 Tom, Cheryl & Jake Bullington
CP 16 Kristin Bray & Family
CP 19 Katy Lindberg Farmers Insurance & Family
CP 22 Shirley Markuson & Sandy Markuson
CP 24 Melanie Baker & Janel Wright & Kids
MN Coaches/Hastings Bus Company - Mike Karlen, Mike Paul & Frank
TwinCitiesToilets.com - Danny Schlomka
City of Hastings Parks & Rec - Paige Marschall Bigler
The Hastings Journal - Bruce Karnick
KDWA - Mo McNeary, Mike Ruud, Dan Massman
Hastings Community TV- Colby Zak, Mike Bremer
Hastings Police Department
Hastings American Legion
Michelle Braun - National Anthem Singer
Mayor Mary Fasbender - Speaker
Pastor Jim Bzofskie - Speaker
Other great supporters of the March...