Funeral planned for Fargo soldier
Funeral services have been arranged for the Fargo soldier killed Tuesday in Iraq. Spc. Michael Hermanson, a 21-year-old Fargo North graduate volunteering with a Minot (N.D.) National Guard unit, was on a mission 50 miles north of Baghdad when a r...
Funeral services have been arranged for the Fargo soldier killed Tuesday in Iraq.
Spc. Michael Hermanson, a 21-year-old Fargo North graduate volunteering with a Minot (N.D.) National Guard unit, was on a mission 50 miles north of Baghdad when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his vehicle.
He died about 2 p.m. Tuesday, or 11 p.m. Iraqi time, while conducting a mission to monitor and clear roads of suspicious looking objects that could be hiding roadside bombs, Guard spokesman Rob Keller said.
Hermanson's body is expected to arrive in Fargo on Tuesday, said Master Sgt. David Somdahl, an Air Guard spokesman.
Public visitation is scheduled Wednesday at Boulger Funeral Home of Fargo.
A remembrance service will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at First Lutheran Church for family, friends, classmates, co-workers and military personnel. Funeral services begin at noon Friday at the church. Hermanson will be buried at Riverside Cemetery.
Family members visited the cemetery Thursday and picked out a plot of two burial spaces, manager Tom Shafer said.
The cemetery will place 30 small American flags around Hermanson's north-end plot at 10 a.m. today in recognition of Memorial Day.
Several people have asked where Hermanson will be buried, Shafer said, so the flags will also act as a beacon for visitors wishing to pay respect.
"What I'm trying to do is not forget someone who has given the ultimate sacrifice, even though his body is not here," Shafer said. "We are remembering him and we are honoring him, as we do all vets who are buried here at the cemetery."
Hermanson's parents, Layne and Scharlotta, have not spoken publicly about their son's death but did release a statement Friday.
"This is a very difficult time for our family, as you might expect," the statement read. "To our gracious and generous neighbors, friends, co-workers and classmates, we'd like to thank you for your visits, your encouraging words, the cards, flowers, food and comfort you have extended to us."
Somdahl said the family has plenty to say about the tragedy but are not emotionally prepared to talk.
"I'm hopeful that perhaps they'll share their story directly," he said. "They're very shaken."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Joe Whetham at (701) 241-5557