by BETH ALTENA Perfect fall weather graced a service at Veteran’s Memorial Park, 5747 Jupiter Avenue in Plainfield Township, one of many Veteran’s Day services around West Michigan. Speaking on his and his wife’s 50th anniversary, Township Supervisor George Meek, a four-year veteran himself, asked the crowd to remember and thank veterans for their service. He shared that he had four grandsons enter the service in 2010. Speaker Senator Mark Jansen also urged listeners to take the time to thank those who serve our country and said veterans come in “all shapes and sizes.” He has a nephew in Afghanistan in his fourth tour of duty. Jansen said veterans are “sons, daughters, husbands and wives.” He praised those who step up to serve our country. “I believe in the Bible and Jesus was a servant. He led by serving,” Jansen stated. Jansen listed countries where the United States has seen military combat, and noted that younger listeners wouldn’t recognize the references to some of the countries. “People are trying to take away our freedom, safety and are trying to harm us,” Jansen said. “On 9/11 they came to our soil.” He said Flight 93 was an example of heroism, and the people who took the plane down in a cornfield to save the lives of many others were true heroes. Heroes are those who have faith, vision and courage as well as the desire to protect those who cannot protect themselves, Jansen described. “Tonight is about all of that, and to thank them. We know evil is in this world for generations. There was evil in the Bible and there is evil today. Veterans are people willing to say yes and to defend us.” “Find someone who has a veteran in their family and thank them,” Jansen continued. “Tonight I hope and pray the generations to come will follow in their footsteps of those heroes, and I ask God to bless this nation.” Meek shared the history of Veteran’s Day. “On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the first world war ended, and in 1919 the country celebrated Armistice Day on November 11 as a day of solemn pride. The holiday was celebrated thus until 1953, when a […]
Members of Cub Scout Pack 3285 honored our local veterans for their service to our country on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11. At their Pack meeting, the Scouts created special thank-you cards to show their appreciation for the freedoms they enjoy today. Delegates from the Webelos den visited Bishop Hills Elder Care Community in Rockford on this special day and hand-delivered the cards. The boys were also able to talk with the veterans individually and learned of their military experiences. Cards were also sent to members of the U.S. Army National Guard’s 1073rd Maintenance Company, based in Greenville, who recently returned from their second tour of duty in Iraq.
Veteran’s Day, November 11, will be recognized with a brief flag-raising ceremony with coffee and donuts at Lakes Elementary School from 8:30 to 9 a.m. and an evening service at Memorial Park in Belmont, at the intersection of Belmont Road and Jupiter Avenue at 7 p.m. According to organizer and township trustee Charles Weldon, the evening service will include a 21-gun salute, music by the choral students of Assumption Church, a benediction by the youth pastor of Belmont Baptist Church, who is also a Marine who has seen several tours of duty in Iraq, a speech by State Senator Mark Jansen and other speakers. The Comstock Park Color Guard will provide the military 21-gun salute, members of the Saladin Shrine will be present as will at least two Boy Scout groups. “We have a pretty good lineup,” Weldon said. The event will be held rain or shine and is a well-attended, moving ceremony.
A ceremony in Belmont for veterans on this Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11, was by far the largest held there, said Plainfield Township Supervisor George Meek. Meek read a description he found defining a veteran. He said a veteran is someone who has written a blank check in service of his country, payable up to his life. He then introduced State Representative Vern Ehlers. Ehlers spoke briefly to the crowd, recognizing that the country now mourns the loss of 13 people at Ft. Hood, an act of cowardice. “It is unthinkable to face the loss of loved ones in the safety of our own forts,” Ehlers stated. He reminded the crowd of the heavy cost of war, and said the holiday was created in 1919 to commemorate the end of World War I, the “war to end all wars.” “It was such a horrible war, it was vowed at the 11th hour of the 11th month that we would never have another. That’s why Veteran’s Day is always November 11,” Ehlers stated. Veterans now comprise 20 percent of our country’s population. He spoke on the heavy burden of making political decisions regarding military action in times of war. “The toughest votes I cast in Washington are military.” He said it is a time in our nation’s history where we are not safe on our own soil and have to fear attack. “Even in sweet Grand Rapids and our suburbs we are not safe,” he said. He told the crowd that of the six million Americans who will receive care from the Veterans Administration, 220,000 will have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ehlers said when the United States was attacked on September 11, we first responded with attacks in Afghanistan, since that was where the 9/11 attacks were initiated. “We should have stayed there longer instead of moving to Iraq too early and ended up fighting a major war there.” Ehlers challenged the crowd to thank veterans who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe. Meek further reminded all to remember those veterans who have never returned home or been accounted for in the wars through the years. He listed those who have been missing in action, and further mentioned Michigan military […]