Today is Memorial Day, a day that honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Mankato Area Veteran Tom McLaughlin says it’s a special Memorial Day for families as they are focusing on looking back 50 years to 1968. 

“It’s being remembered in all kinds of different ways. The state historical society, Blue Earth County Historical Society all have exhibits denoting the year of 1968. Of course, a big part of that was Vietnam. Unfortunately, our area was hit fairly hard that year. I believe we lost nine service members in 1968.”

McLaughlin is a Vietnam War veteran and says 1968 was a significant year in American history, including a turning point in the War.

“There’s a lot of memories of that year and there’s a lot of memories of Vietnam and the Tet Offensive. You can see by the number of service people who we lost in our area, it was one of the heaviest years of fighting in the war.”

Among a full schedule of events to remember those on Memorial Day, an observance will be held at the Vietnam Memorial on Stolzman Road in Mankato at 12:10 p.m.

“There’s always a basic program, a memorial, honor guard, rifle squad honoring those who served and those who are no longer with us. They vary from location to locations because some speakers focus in on different aspects of Memorial Day.”

For the full list of Memorial Day observances, (CLICK HERE).