(Little Falls, MN) -- Gold Star families are gathering at Camp Ripley today for a private memorial service in honor of their loved ones. Major General David Elicerio [[ el-uh-SAIR'-ee-oh ]], commander of the 34th Infantry Red Bull Division, says a monument will be dedicated to all the Minnesota soldiers and airmen from the National Guard who have lost their lives since 9-11, befitting on a Memorial Day weekend. Eighteen members of the Minnesota National Guard have made the ultimate sacrifice in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls is hosting its annual public memorial service this afternoon. The keynote speaker is Adjutant General Richard Nash.