October 25, 2014

Area veterans to gather for Memorial Day cemetery visits

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
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ARENAC COUNTY — Veterans from throughout the county will visit area cemeteries over Memorial Day weekend to honor those who have served in the armed forces and passed on.

Tom Roiter, post commander of the Au Gres VFW, said they would be holding their events Sunday, May 27. The VFW members will meet at the Cedar Valley cemetery in Mason Township at 8:45 a.m. before touring the Omer, Au Gres, and Sims Township cemeteries throughout the rest of the morning.

Services are planned at each cemetery for the veterans interred there, and Roiter encouraged members of the public who want to pay their respects to attend as well.

Once the cemetery services have concluded at Sims Township, the VFW members will move to the Bopp-Busch Manufacturing property on North Main st. in Au Gres to prepare for the annual Memorial Day parade. The parade will begin at 1 p.m. and head along US-23 to the Au Gres-Sims School.

The parade will feature members of local veterans groups, though Roiter said he will not know exactly which ones will be coming until closer to the event.

At the end of the parade, the VFW will have a ceremony at the school. Dignitaries, from local officials to state representatives and members of Congress, have come to listen and take part in the ceremony in years past, Roiter said.

The ceremony is planned to include a rifle ceremony and an opportunity for visiting dignitaries to speak, as well as a veteran memorial presentation, Roiter said.

Finally, once the ceremony has concluded, Roiter said the VFW would host an open house at the Au Gres post. He believed it would begin at roughly 2 p.m. and last an hour or so.

“It’s a social gather,” Roiter said. “It’s a chance to come out and meet the veterans and get to know the organization a bit.”

Due to declining membership, Roiter said he was not certain what form the Au Gres VFW would have in the future, but he encouraged younger veterans to see about joining the post.

The Standish VFW has its events scheduled for Memorial Day itself, May 28. Marty Metiva, coordinating the events, said it would begin with two groups doing cemetery visitations: one for the northern cemeteries – with a stop at MediLodge in Sterling - and another for the southern ones.

The two groups will meet at the VFW hall at 3850 W. Huron no later than 7:30 a.m. before setting out on their respective circuits. Veterans and visitors are encouraged to come out for the cemetery visitations.

The Standish Memorial Day parade will commence at noon after the visitations have concluded, starting at Airpark Drive near St. Mary’s of Michigan Standish Hospital and concluding at the Arenac County Courthouse. Metiva said anyone interested in joining in could come by before the parade begins moving.

A short memorial program is scheduled after the parade at the courthouse.

Standish Post 3724, Cemetery visitation schedule for May 28:

South route:

Resurrection Cemetery, Standish, 8 a.m.

Saganing Cemetery, Standish Township, 8:20 a.m.

Pine River Cemetery, Standish, 9:10 a.m.

Arenac Cemetery, Arenac Township, 9:40 a.m.

Bentley Cemetery, Bentley, 10:30 a.m.

North Route:

Woodmere Cemetery, Standish, 8 a.m.

Polish National Cemetery, Arenac Township, 8:25 a.m.

Sterling Cemetery, Sterling, 8:50 a.m.

Clayton Cemetery, Clayton Township, 9:30 a.m.

Alger Cemetery, Alger, 10:20 a.m.

MediLodge, Sterling, 11 a.m.

The parade starts at noon at Airpark Drive and will continue down M-61 to the county courthouse, where a short program will follow.

Au Gres Post 8275, Cemetery visitation schedule for May 27:

Cedar Valley Cemetery, Mason Township, 8:45 a.m.

Omer Cemetery, Omer, 9:30 a.m.

Au Gres Cemetery, Au Gres, 10:15 a.m.

Sims Cemetery, Sims Township, 11 a.m.

The parade starts at 1 p.m. at North Main st. down US-23 to the Au Gres-Sims school, where a program will follow.

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