“I only wear this hat on Memorial Day and July Fourth,” said Don Haller, of his USS Missouri cap, the ship he served on in the Navy.
Arborcrest Memorial Park in Ann Arbor held its 33rd Annual Memorial Day ceremony on Sunday, May 24. While people were barbecuing and shopping Memorial Day sales, the ceremony to honor the country’s fallen heroes began with the presentation of the flags with the Veterans Honor Guard of Washtenaw County and the Boy Scouts Troops 1, 4, and 27.
Saline Mayor Brian Marl hosted the event and reminded everyone of the real reason to celebrate Memorial Day, and the importance of honoring our veterans.
Miss Washtenaw County 2014 shakes hands with veteran Don Haller.
The crowd stood for the Pledge of Allegiance and Miss Washtenaw County 2014, Alexandria Strother, sang the National Anthem.
The Boy Scouts lowered the flag to half staff before the invocation by Chaplain Ruth Tapio of St. Joseph Hospital before Tony England, a former astronaut who flew on the Challenger in 1985 spoke of his two brothers who served in the armed forces.
“Memorial Day is every day,” said John Kinzinger, an Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War. “I’m sure that all of you have loved ones that you think about every day.” He’s attended over 2,000 military funerals over his career as part of the Veterans Honor Guard of Washtenaw County.
“I wish that everyone in our nation would take a moment to be thankful,” he said.
Strother reminisced about first time she realized that the freedom America takes for granted wasn’t actually free.