On Thursday, May 21 Blythefield Memorial Gardens held their 19th annual Girl and Boy Scout Memorial Day Event. Each year the family owned business celebrates and pays honor to veterans by inviting Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts to place flags on graves of every veteran in the gardens. The event begins with a flag ceremony, followed by a brief history of Memorial Day given by Alexis Clemens the director of the gardens. After placement of the flags the family and staff then provide a cookout for everyone. The cemetery was developed in 1957 and Fran and Herb Clemens (grandparents of Alexis) took over ownership in 1962. Since then, the Clemens family, have been taking care of their customers for over 6 decades. Curt and Ron Clemens (second generation and brothers) now own the cemetery. Third generation, Alexis is a director of the company and Cameron and Nicholas are very involved as well. It is family effort to provide great service to their customers. The family takes great pride in being recognized as one of the most well maintained cemeteries in the state of Michigan. Alexis Clemens states that “being such a close knit family run business, we make sure to treat each and everyone of our customers as if they were a part of our family.” “I have people come up to me all the time when I’m at the cemetery, telling me how great my grandma was to their family during the difficult time of losing a loved one….Out of painful times we remember compassion…” Alexis is happy that her family can help other families when they need it the most. A Memorial Day service was also held on Monday, May 25 at 11:30 am. It was a a great time for the community to get together and honor our veterans.
by MADDIE LYALS, age 9 Many people think Memorial Day is about getting the pool ready or for having picnics because summer is starting soon and the weather will get warm, but what it means to me is spending time with family and for remembering all the soldiers who died for our country. I’m thankful for the wonderful soldiers who put their life at risk to protect us and keep us safe. This day could be a different occasion but it is meant for us to remember all our brave soldiers. Remember that they gave their lives for you and me so be thankful, happy and proud that you are here right now because of them.
Major John C. Sjogren helped win key battle in WWII, awarded Medal of Honor by MATT MARN Memorial Day, a time to commemorate U.S. soldiers who died while in service of their country, began after the Civil War as a day of remembrance and reconciliation. Memorial Day has now evolved into a general day of memory, in which families and loved ones visit the graves of deceased relatives who may or may not have served. This Memorial Day, Julie Sjogren, administrative assistant with the Algoma Planning and Building Department and president of the Algoma Historical Society, will remember a national hometown hero in her husband’s family. John Carleton Sjogren, or “Uncle Carleton” to his family, went to family gatherings with his wife Jean, and Julie remembers her relative’s warmth toward his family. “John and his wife were always on the go,” Julie said. “But when he did come, it was a real treat. He was a very friendly, nice man; such a gentleman. One Christmas party, he took my daughter up on his knee. He took a lapel pin off of his suit coat, and pinned it on her dress. To me, that was a big deal.” But in addition to love for family, she will remember the courage and devotion to country he showed to the entire nation. The following is derived from an article published in the January issue of the Algoma Township Historical Society’s quarterly newsletter, based on “A Grenade and A Prayer,” an article written by Lt. George H. Larson, written with excerpts from a piece by Judy Helsel. Sjogren was born and raised in Algoma to parents Carl and Anna on a farm full of corn, beans and potatoes in 1916. John had an older brother, Elmer, and a younger brother, Norman, and his sisters, Lillian, Edith and Esther. From an early age, he worked in Chicago as a bricklayer and came home on weekends. In 1929—the year he graduated eighth grade and the year the Great Depression began—he once more showed his dedication when he spent eight years working on his family’s farm as well as another family farm nearby to see himself and his family through. In 1938 he went to work for Wolverine Shoe and Tanning Corporation […]
ROCKFORD 8:45AM Opening Flag Raising Ceremony—Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St., Rockford 9:00AM Parade—FromCommunity Cabin north to Lewis St., west on Lewis St. toMain St, south on Main St. to Bridge St., east on Bridge to Lincoln St., south on Lincoln St. across 10 Mile to Rockford Cemetery. 10:50AM Wreath Laying Ceremony and Open House—Merritt Lamb Post. Food and beverages will be provided. ALGOMA 1:00PM Algoma Township Memorial Park—10515 Grange Ave., (south of 13 Mile Rd., between Pine Island Dr. and Algoma Ave.). The memorial service will include the American Legion, V.F.W., Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. There will be a tribute to Algoma Township servicemen who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. They include Daniel Louis Behm (Vietnam) and Craig Yates (Vietnam). BELMONT 2:00AM Veterans Memorial Park—5747 Belmont Ave. NE. Welcome given by Plainfield Charter Township Supervisor George Meek, followed by invocation by Pastor Jeff Williams and the Pledge performed by Tim Cooper, followed by State Representative of the 73rd District Pete MacGregor. Color Guard (Sons of American Legion Squad #258) and placing of the wreath are followed by the 21-gun salute and the playing of the “Taps.” A Scholarship presentation will be given by Sons of the American Legion Squad #283. Supervisor George Meek will give the closing remarks, followed by the closing prayer. CEDAR SPRINGS The American Legion Glen Hill Post #287 will hold their annual Memorial Day program on May 30, with Michigan state Representative Peter MacGregor as guest speaker. They will be at Elmwood Cemetery at 9 a.m., Solon Cemetary at 10 a.m., East Nelson Cemetery at 10:45 a.m., and Veterans Memorial Park, (corner of Main and Oak in Cedar Springs) at 11:30 a.m. There will be no program at the senior center this year. In case of bad weather, services will be held in the American Legion Hall at 9am. SAND LAKE The Sand Lake/Cedar Springs Tri-Corner Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #7912 will have ceremonies on Monday, May 30. They will be at the VFW Post in Sand Lake at 10:30 a.m., and then in Pierson Cemetery at 11 a.m. The Tri County Marching Band will also participate if weather permits. SPARTA The Sparta American Legion Post #107 will hold a Memorial Day program on Monday, May 30, at 10:30 a.m. in Lamoreaux Park, 150 Park Street, in Sparta. Services will include the Sparta high School Band, Color Guard, […]