Gladstone American Legion celebrates Memorial Day with ceremonies

In Delta County, people gathered to pay their respects to veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Published: May. 29, 2023 at 5:27 PM EDT
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GLADSTONE, Mich. (WLUC) - In Delta County, people gathered to pay their respects to veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice.

American Legion Members from Post 71 in Gladstone held Memorial Day ceremonies at the Fernwood Cemetery and Gladstone Yacht Club. The event included the lowering of the flag and performances from the Gladstone High School marching band.

“Memorial Day is a holiday to honor the ones that have fallen that didn’t come back from war,” Michigan Sons of the American Legion 5th Zone Commander John Pickard said. “Memorial Day is a very solemn ceremony, and this is the best place to have it at the Fernwood Cemetery here in Gladstone.”

Volunteers from the post planted over 900 flags on the graves of veterans. Pickard says he hopes those from younger generations appreciate the sacrifice many made.

“Wars were no fun, but the ones that made the ultimate sacrifice that didn’t come home and the families that didn’t have brothers and sisters and they were lost that’s really important for them to remember them as well,” Pickard said. “I want the young people to look at all the flags and think that these folks actually sacrificed for our freedoms that we have today.”

State Representative Dave Prestin gave the keynote address. He says Memorial Day is a solemn reminder of the freedoms many take for granted.

“It is really important that we have these separate events like the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and other events that help us remember and help us reflect on the costs that we bore as a nation to make our freedoms happen,” Prestin said.

The ceremony at the yacht club was primarily focused on those who died at sea. American Legion Post 71 Commander Barry Holm said it is important to recognize all who died while serving.

“If it was not for them, we wouldn’t be here,” Holm said. “We need these men and women to step up at sea, on land and in the air. It is incredible what they did for us and I’m happy that I can honor them today. That’s what Memorial Day means to me.”

Holm encourages everyone to not take for granted the freedoms we have and to take time every day of the year to remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.