Memorial Day marked

Services held at local cemeteries

Tom Ranta of the Richard M. Jopling American Legion Post 44 speaks at Monday’s Memorial Day service at Park Cemetery. The service included raising the flag to half-mast and the Placing of the Wreaths. (Journal photo by Christie Mastric)

MARQUETTE — The men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving their country were honored during several ceremonies in the city of Marquette on Memorial Day.

The Richard M. Jopling American Legion Post 44 honored these individuals on Monday with ceremonies at Holy Cross Cemetery and Park Cemetery.

Tom Ranta of Post 44 served as master of ceremonies, noting the absence of services in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We never want to forget, especially those men and women that gave the ultimate sacrifice,” Ranta said at the Park Cemetery service.

Leo Smith, chaplain of Post 44, gave the invocation and benediction, while Post 44’s Jill Weingarten sang the “Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.”

Ranta said that as he put together a message for Monday, he thought of many appropriate words when people think of the important day: fearless, grateful, sacrifice, patriotism, freedom, hero and forever remembered.

He said people must realize that no arsenal or no weapons in the arsenals of the world are formidable as the “will and the moral courage of free men and women.

“It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have,” Ranta said. “It is a weapon we as Americans do have.”

Other individuals who took part in the ceremony included Steven Krook, who played Taps; Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts; the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 380; Veterans of Foreign Wars Superior Memorial Post 6; the Marine Corps League; American Legion Post 44 Auxiliary; and Marquette Elks Lodge 405.

The Placing of the Wreaths involved individuals representing the Grand Army of the Republic, Spanish American Auxiliary, VFW Auxiliary, Gold Star Mothers, American Legion Auxiliary and the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary, escorted by the Elks Ritual Team.

Troop 302 Scout Ian Parkkonen participated in Monday’s Park Cemetery ceremony.

He expressed the belief that people don’t often focus on the true purpose of the holiday.

“They forget all those who served their country and they don’t take an actual moment to remember them, remember the brave women, who fought for everybody in this country who wouldn’t probably be alive without them, wouldn’t have the same rights or freedoms without them,” Parkkonen said.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net


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