County prepares for Memorial Day events
ARENAC COUNTY — Veterans and other residents from across Arenac County will be participating in Memorial Day weekend events to honor fallen veterans.
Au Gres and the east side of the county have events and cemetery visits planned May 26, while Standish’s parade and local cemetery visits are set for May 27. As the Au Gres VFW was folded into the Standish post last year, the visits are now made by the singular group — as well as the American Legion — but are still staggered over both days.
The eastern side veterans will begin their annual cemetery visitations at 8:45 a.m. when they go to the Cedar Valley Cemetery in Mason Township, moving on to the Omer Cemetery at 9:30 a.m. The group will then visit to the Linwood Cemetery in Au Gres at 10:15 a.m., and the Sims Cemetery at 11 a.m.
Jan Damron, one of the organizers for the Au Gres parade, said the event begins at 1 p.m. at Bopp-Busch Manufacturing on US-23 and marches to the Au Gres-Sims High School for a short ceremony.
She said the police and fire departments, veterans, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and the school bands would all be there, along with the Au Gres Cruisers Car Club and about five or six floats.
“It’s a small parade, but we have fun, and the kids ride on the floats and such,” Damron said.
She said anyone still interested in joining is welcome to line up at Bopp-Busch before the parade, and can call her at 989-876-6397.
At the close of the parade, she said members of the VFW will hold a short presentation where the post commander will read a few words. State Rep. Joel Johnson (R-Clare) has said he will likely attend, Damron said.
On May 27, the VFW and American Legion will be splitting up the cemetery visits on the western side of the county into north and south routes, VFW member Marty Metiva said.
On the northern route, the veterans will begin at the Woodmere Cemetery in Standish at 8 a.m., followed by the Polish National Cemetery in Arenac Township at 8:25 a.m. The group will continue on to Sterling Cemetery at 8:50 a.m., Clayton Cemetery at 9:30 a.m., Alger Cemetery at 10:20 a.m., and conclude with a visit to other veterans at MediLodge of Sterling at 11 a.m.
The Alger Cemetery visit will also include coffee and donuts, furnished by the Bikers For Kids organization.
Along the southern route, the veterans will start off at the Resurrection Cemetery in Standish at 8 a.m., next visiting Saganing Cemetery in Standish Township at 8:20 a.m., Pine River Cemetery in Standish at 9:10 a.m., Arenac Cemetery in Arenac Township at 9:40 a.m., and finally the Bentley Cemetery at 10:30 a.m.
The groups will reconvene in Standish for the parade around 11:30 a.m. at Airpark Drive, with the parade itself starting at noon.
“The parade is open to anyone who wants to join it,” Metiva said. “They can just step in. It’s not as planned as the Loyalty Day Parade.”
He said he had been in the VFW for 40 years, and some years the parade is little more than veterans and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The parade route ends at the Arenac County Courthouse on Grove Street, where a short program featuring the national anthem and a volley from the firing squad will be presented.
Cemetery visitation schedule for May 26:
Cedar Valley Cemetery, Mason Township, 8:45 a.m.
Omer Cemetery, Omer, 9:30 a.m.
Linwood Cemetery, Au Gres, 10:15 a.m.
Sims Cemetery, Sims Township, 11 a.m.
Au Gres’ parade starts at 1 p.m. at North Main St. down US-23 to the Au Gres-Sims school, where a program will follow.
Cemetery visitation schedule for May 27:
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.
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.
Standish’s parade starts at noon at Airpark Drive and will continue down M-61 to the county courthouse, where a short program will follow.