Source: Sherman Publications

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New additions to Memorial Day ceremony

by Mary Keck

May 23, 2012

From left, Gerald Grzywinski, Gordon Ross, Joe Savino, and Barney Schoenfeld gather at Lakeview Cemetery. They are among the veterans who will participate in the 2012 Memorial Day ceremony. Photo by Mary Keck
Those attending the Memorial Day Ceremony, Monday, May 28, can look forward to honoring our fallen soldiers with some new proceedings.

American Legion Post 63 invites the public to enjoy the annual parade at 10 a.m. in downtown Clarkston. Afterward, they can join the veterans in the Lakeview Cemetery for a ceremony to honor our deceased servicemen and women.

During the ceremony, students from Clarkston Junior High School will share what they've written about what Memorial Day means, and Miss Michigan Kristina Scarcelli will perform "A Faded Code of Blue," which will feature a Civil War reenactor.

Those in attendance will also enjoy a reading of The Gettysburg Address and learn about the history of Memorial Day from Vietnam Veteran Barney Schoenfeld.

Schoenfeld served in the U.S. Army from 1960 to 1963 and hopes observing this national holiday will "encourage our young people to continue the traditions of Memorial Day."

To Gerald Grzywinski, who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam era, honoring our deceased vets is important because "they gave the supreme sacrifice."

It is also about brotherhood, said Gordon Ross who served in the Navy during Operation Desert Shield from 1986 to 1991. "We're honoring our fallen brothers," he stated. Ross believes the best way to show appreciation for military service is to "respect and show your American flag and talk to children about patriotism."

According to Ross, it isn't easy to describe what it's like to be a soldier. When you're serving overseas, "you feel segregated from the safety of your country," he explained. "It can go from being bored to death to being scared to death in a moment."

Grzywinski agreed. "It's unlike any other experience."

Although our veterans have endured experiences like no other, a simple "thank you for your service" makes them feel honored, World War II Veteran Joe Savino said. To those currently serving in our armed forces, Gerald Grzywinski says, "Be proud. We support you. You're always in our thoughts and prayers."

On Memorial Day, our fallen heroes will be honored by those who can best understand their experience, and the veterans of the American Legion hope the public will join them. "When we march down the street and people are clapping and cheering, that's a proud moment," said Schoenfeld.