By Ray GOVE
for the Long Prairie American Legion Post 12
In conjunction with the Long Prairie “Summer Concert in the Park” series, the Long Prairie American Legion, Post 12, will sponsor the 34th Infantry Division “Red Bull” Band on Wednesday, July 17, at the Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Long Prairie.
Preceding the concert at 6:30 p.m., the Long Prairie American Legion and VFW will conduct a “Flag Disposal Ceremony” to dispose of worn or soiled American Flags. People wishing to have flags disposed of in this dignified ceremony, may bring their flags to the American Legion Club prior to July 17. The public is invited and encouraged to attend this ceremony, in addition to the band concert by the “Red Bull” Band.
Military bands have played a part in our history since the Civil War. The heritage of the Minnesota citizen soldier musician can be traced to the 1860’s when the Great Western Brass Band of St. Paul supported the troops of the 1st Minnesota volunteers. Whether rendering honors for the gallant soldiers who fought and died at Gettysburg, performing for state and federal functions or performing for the public, the band was proud to represent the citizen soldier.
The Minnesota citizen soldier musician of today is no different. They are proud to serve and represent one of the most respected divisions in military history.
With lineage predating the Civil War, the 34th Infantry Division has participated in major conflicts throughout history .
In World War II the 34th Infantry “Red Bull” Divisions participated in the campaigns of Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Amo, North Appennies and the Po Valley for a total of 611 days engaged with the enemy, more combat than any other Division in Europe.
Today the 34th Infantry Division “Red Bull” Band is stationed in Rosemount. The band fosters our national heritage by performing music that promotes unit/community esprit in support of civil and military organizations.
The “Red Bull” Band deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009-2010 performing 450 times and traveling more than 70,000 miles. For their efforts the 34th Infantry Division Band earned the Meritorious Unit Citation.
The band has represented Minnesota at the United States Presidential Inauguration, the National Veteran’s Day ceremonies, as well as performing for Governor inaugurations. It has been a featured group at the Minnesota Music Educators Conference as well as the International Tuba Euphonium Conference, where the band accompanied 6 internationally renowned soloists.