Memorial Day commemorated across the county

by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor
Crowds gathered for Memorial Day services in Presque Isle County to remember fallen veterans and departed members of service.
Veteran groups and residents hosted services in cemeteries and at war memorials to pay respects.
Rain held off until the middle afternoon. Most were conducted in the morning, while storm clouds moved through a few hours later.
Rogers City’s event started with a traditional service at the county courthouse war memorials.
A parade of vets, local Scouts, the Rogers City High School band and emergency services personnel proceeded to Memorial Park Cemetery several blocks away.
Rogers City school board member/law school student Devin Pommerenke was the honored speaker and recognized the cost of freedom.

RETIRED ARMY veteran Aaron Curtis took part in a service with the placing of a small wreath on the symbolic grave used in services hosted by George Garms Post 5857, Onaway. (Photos by Peter Jakey)
RETIRED ARMY veteran Aaron Curtis took part in a service with the placing of a small wreath on the symbolic grave used in services hosted by George Garms Post 5857, Onaway. (Photos by Peter Jakey)

“From the Keweenaw to Monroe, and all the way up here to Presque Isle— folks like us are gathering to remember and honor the men and women who laid down their lives for our country,” said Pommerenke to those gathered on the cemetery paths, between the plots and headstones.
“Many of these brave souls that we come to honor made the cause of the United States of America their supreme choice,” said Pommerenke. “The supreme choice these millions made have imperfectly afforded two words to billions of people who inhabit this planet. These two words are liberty and freedom.”
He said it has not always been this way in our country.

DEVIN POMMERENKE delivered a heart-felt Memorial Day speech on a foggy morning in Memorial Park Cemetery, Rogers City.
DEVIN POMMERENKE delivered a heart-felt Memorial Day speech on a foggy morning in Memorial Park Cemetery, Rogers City.

“No, it took 25,000 Patriot souls to claim our independence before we had it this way. It took losing another 750,000 in the Civil War for America to redefine what liberty and freedom really meant to her,” said Pommerenke. “This year, we honor the 116,000 and some who 100 years ago this year went off to Europe in World War I to never return.”
Pommerenke reminded those in attendance that Memorial Day is to honor “heroes who did not come home alive,” but it’s also a day for living veterans to reminisce and reflect.

Pommerenke’s speech may be viewed at:

https://www.facebook.com/112568402105188/videos/pcb.1870660806295930/1870657386296272/?type=3&theater

(More of this story is found in the June 1, 2017 Advance)