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A day for veterans



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Sean Huerta prepares for the Memorial Day Parade in Ortonville. (click for larger version)
May 30, 2012 - Ed Burns joined the Marine Corps on Feb. 7, 1946. In order to enlist, he lied about both his name and age. When his parents found out what he had done, they were angry, but eventually signed a letter giving their consent so Burns could remain in the Marines. He served in China and returned to the U.S. in November 1947. He was discharged from the Marines in 1951. Burns married Dorothy Boscoe in 1949 and they would have three children— Danny, Debra and Darlene.

Burns dropped out of school and at just 15, ran away to join the Marines. On June 11, 2005 Burns walked in the commencement ceremony at East Detroit High School and receive his high school diploma— 60 years after he quit the school.

Burns was one of about 200 veterans that were in attendance at Memorial Day observances in Ortonville.

"We had WWII veterans through Afghanistan and Iraqi conflict veterans in attendance," said Lee Stewart, of the Ortonville VFW Post 582 and Army veteran. "We had several Vietnam veterans and a few from the Korean War. I was happy to see the number of younger vetrans turn out—it's their responsibility to carry on the traditions of the Memorial Day. The older vetrans are getting fewer each year."

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Stewart said Ortonville has been hosting a Memorial Day observance since about 1880.

"I've noticed that since 9-11 more people are thanking veteran—it's a great gesture. It's great too to see the Brandon High School band and choir participation, they really added to the memorial."

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