On Saturday, May 16, after 71 years of waiting, 96-year-old Arnold Hjermstad of Cannon Falls finally received a Legion of Merit award. Hjermstad earned the medal for his U.S. Army service in North Africa and Europe during World War II.

U.S. Rep John Kline, who represents Minnesota's 2nd District, presented the award to Hjermstad. "I'm happy. Excited. You can feel it in the room," he said. "So much excitement that this injustice of 70 years has come to fruition for 96-year-old Arnold Hjermstad getting this award.

"I feel good that I helped make people feel good," Kline said.

Hjermstad was attended by his sons, Gary, Bob and Jim. Many other family members and friends also attended the ceremony. The event began with an introduction by Cannon Falls Mayor Robby Robinson and a presentation of colors by the VFW Post 4452 Color Guard and the Pledge of Allegiance. Then Kline presented the Legion of Merit award and three other medals: the European-Africa Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, with a Silver Service Star and Bronze Service Star; the World War II Victory Medal; and the Army of Occupation Medal.