By ZACH JAY
Journal Staff Writer
MARQUETTE - Marquette hosted several events and ceremonies Monday in observance of the men and women who gave their lives for our country.
Marquette City Manager Bill Vajda, left, and State Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette, carry American flags as they begin the Warrior Relief Walk with girls from the Marquette FC Wave soccer team. The walk went from Mattson Lower Harbor Park to the Superior Dome and was held by the Wounded Warrior Project to raise money to assist veterans returning from combat zones. (Journal photo by Zach Jay)
American Legion Post 44 put up 91 American flags throughout Harlow Park to honor local veterans, lining the sidewalks of the park and the Veterans Memorial monument. Flags from each of the armed forces were displayed along the wall of the water fountain.
A couple hundred people turned out at Mattson Lower Harbor Park for the Warrior Relief Walk held by the Wounded Warrior Project. The walk began at the park and ended at the Superior Dome. The Wounded Warrior Project aims to provide a number of means of assistance to disabled veterans returning from combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, including medical care, combat stress recovery and jobs training in order to help them make the transition back to civilian life.
"We're just here to support the Wounded Warrior Project," said Jacob Kleiman of the Northern Michigan University Regional Police Academy, who was participating in the walk with his fellow cadets.
The American Legion also held a ceremony at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery and Park Cemetery to show their respect for those who served.
The ceremonies included a color guard from the local Coast Guard, a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by the Boy Scouts and the account by American Legion Post 44 Junior Vice Commander Tom Ranta of Marine Sergeant William C. Stacey of Redding, Calif., who was killed on his fourth deployment in Afghanistan in January of last year. Stacey, who left a letter to be read in the event of his death, said that while he may not have changed the world, if his actions mean one child is alive today to pursue opportunities that would have otherwise been unavailable to him, then his sacrifice was worth it.
Also Monday in Negaunee, the traditional Memorial Day parade took place, featuring music by the Negaunee City Band and the Negaunee High School Marching Miners band as well as color guards and personnel and vehicles from the City of Negaunee police and fire departments.
Several hundred people lined the street for the parade, which was followed by ceremonies at the Negaunee Cemetery to honor the community's war dead.
Zach Jay can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 243.