Students, community kick off Memorial Day events

MANISTEE — Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, and area students and community members held events on Friday gearing up for that special day.

Jefferson Elementary first and second grade students were given a lesson on Friday morning about the flag and the important role it plays in the annual Memorial Day celebration. Several members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Walsh Post No. 4499 were at the school to present the students with small flags and explain what the different parts of the flag mean.

Local VFW post commander Don Vadeboncouer was joined by veterans Stan Preidis, Bob Hayes and Roger Turner in visiting the students at the school.

“Today we are going to give them little flags and then we are going to show them how to raise the big flag,” said Preidis. “Don has a little talk for them about Memorial Day and the flag activities. We have been doing this for the past three years.”

Vadeboncouer said it is the veterans’ way of helping educate the students.

“I am going to talk about what the flag means and the pledge of allegiance,” said Vadeboncouer. “It’s just a good way of reminding and teaching them about the importance of Memorial Day.”

Rolling Thunder Michigan Chapter No. 1 dedicated a POW/MIA flag at the veterans’s memorial on the corner of First and Maple streets near Manistee Library.

“The POW/MIA flag is an American flag designed as a symbol of citizens’ concern about United State military personnel taken as prisoner of war or missing in action,” said John Stocki, Rolling Thunder board member, during a short ceremony on Friday morning.

He said that Rolling Thunder dedicated the flag as a way to educate the public.

“Many prisoners of war were left behind after all previous wars and to help correct the past and protect future veterans from being left behind should they become prisoners of war-missing in action. We are also committed to helping American veterans from all wars,” Stocki said.

After passing the flag through the flag line “to remember our veterans who loves their lives in past wars and those who are still prisoners of war or missing in action and unaccounted for,” those in attendance raised the flag while “Taps” was played.

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Posted by Michelle Graves

Michelle is the managing editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3106 or mgraves@pioneergroup.com.

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