This weekend and on Monday many Cadillac area communities and school districts will come together to home the men and women who have served their country in the Armed Services.
Veterans Day is one federal holiday that stands for something a little more in the Cadillac area. Unlike Memorial Day, which honors the men and women who died while serving their country, Veterans Day is honoring those who simply are serving or have served.
This year Nov. 11 falls on Monday.
BUCKLEY COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
Veterans are invited to a meet and greet at 8:15 a.m., followed by a ceremony starting at 8:45 a.m. in the small gym of the high school on Nov. 11. There are speakers, the lower elementary students will read poems, there will be a moment of silence, and "Taps" will be played. Veterans and one guest will be served breakfast after the ceremony free of charge.
The school, however, is requesting veterans who plan to attend the breakfast call the school at 231-269-3325 ext. 9 so they can have a good idea how much food to prepare.
The Cadillac Area Honor Guard historically observes Veterans Day at three sites within Cadillac on Nov. 11.
This year, however, only one will be visited. Veterans Memorial Stadium on Linden Street is the first stop and only stop this year, according to Cadillac Area Honor Guard member Steve Birdwell. Once there, veterans typically sing the national anthem, perform a 21-gun salute, play “Taps,‘ lay a wreath, say a prayer and lower the flag to half-staff.
Birdwell said since Memorial Day is supposed to honor veterans who have paid the greatest sacrifice, it was decided to only go to the one memorial. Before they also would visit the Veterans Memorial on the shore of Lake Cadillac near the Keith McKellop Walkway the flagpole and World War I gun across from the Wexford County Courthouse.
AMVETS Post No. 110 also typically conducts a special ceremony at Lakeview of Cadillac joined by the Cadillac Area Honor Guard. The event scheduled for 2 p.m. will include a flag-raising ceremony, guest speaker, and gathering in the chapel to recognize resident veterans.
CADILLAC HIGH SCHOOL
The light of dozens of electric candles illuminates the darkened gymnasium in a solemn ceremony that has long been a Cadillac High School tradition. This year the events are on Nov. 11.
Visitors must take their seats by 10:10 a.m. before students file in to take their seats. The ceremony generally is coordinated by the senior class, with the Honors Choir and members of the Cadillac Area Honor Guard also participating. The event starts promptly at 10:30 a.m.
Guyton Park, at the corner of Fifth Street and Main Street, is where veterans from VFW Post No. 7979 and AMVETS Post No. 11 have jointly conducted a ceremony on Veterans Day. The event typically occurs at 11 a.m.
EVART HIGH SCHOOL
Students at Evart High School will be hosting a Veterans Day assembly at 1 p.m. Monday. Guest speaker Rep. Jason Wentworth, R-Clare, will attend the event.
In Missaukee County, veterans historically have been treated to a free meal from the Sons of the American Legion at American Legion Post. No. 300, 114 N. Main St. in Lake City.
The dinner is from 5 to 7 p.m. at the post on Nov. 11. Dinner is free for veterans with identification. Family and friends also may have dinner for a small price.
At 11 a.m. on Veterans Day, the American Legion Post conducts a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial next to the Missaukee Ardis District Library. The ceremony will include a speaker, 21-gun-salute, and lowering of the flag. A brief ceremony also will follow at the Lake City Cemetery on M-55 just north of town.
The LeRoy Veterans’ Memorial Park was originally located on Bevins Street but recently was moved to the northeast corner of Mackinaw Trail and East Gilbert Street. At 2 p.m. Sunday, a brief rededication of the park at its new location will be held. In addition to the new location, Mike Blanchard said a clock tower was placed there as well as the potential for more items in the future.
With Veterans Day falling on Monday, Blanchard said he didn’t want the rededication of the park to interfere with the events scheduled across the area including in the LeRoy/Tustin area.
During the rededication, Blanchard said various veterans, the Cadillac Area Honor Guard, Pine River Area Schools band members, LeRoy village officials, Rep. Michele Hoitenga, R-Manton, a representative from Sen. Curt Vanderwall, R-Ludington, and others will honor area veterans with a new park dedicated to them.
Manton High School students will be putting on an assembly scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 11.
During the assembly, students do the posting of colors and pledge of allegiance. There also will be a speaker and a candle lighting ceremony. Any veteran who has gone to school or lives in the Manton area can call the high school at 824-6411 to get put into the program.
Veterans from Marion VFW Post No. 6015 historically get together for a brief ceremony at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 at the Veterans Memorial downtown.
MARION ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Veterans will be going to the Marion Elementary School at 1 p.m. Monday for a brief event. During the time at the school, fourth and fifth graders will ask questions to veterans about the military and serving in the military.
MCBAIN RURAL AGRICULTURAL SCHOOLS
McBain Rural Agricultural Schools will be hosting a Veterans Day Program in the Elenbaas Performing Arts Center on Nov. 11. The event is scheduled to start at 2:15 p.m.
Mesick Consolidated Schools historically has hosted a Veterans Day assembly and the district will again at 9 a.m. on Nov. 11 at Mesick High School. Veterans in Mesick, led by AMVETS Post No. 120, also will again stop at Lions Park at 11 a.m. for a short ceremony before returning to the post, at 3369 N. 9 Road, for fellowship. From 9-11 a.m. on Nov. 10, the AMVETS will host a breakfast where veterans can eat for free.
PINE RIVER AREA SCHOOLS
Students at Pine River Area Elementary School in LeRoy will meet with veterans and learn about their service to our country. The school is at 408 W. Gilbert St. Veterans, active duty service members and other members of the community are welcome to join them for a musical salute to veterans that begins at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 11.
Students at Pine River Area Middle Schools will present a program to honor our veterans. “Honoring America’s Veterans‘ will take place in the middle school gym beginning at 9 a.m. Monday. Pine River Area High School also takes the time to show their gratitude toward the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. While they do that with songs, spoken word, and music, they also do it by simply saying “thank you‘ during an annual assembly.
The high school assembly also will occur on Nov. 11 at 9:45 a.m.
REED CITY AREA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
G.T. Norman Elementary has historically held a Veterans Day assembly. This year the school will again hold the event at 9 a.m. on Nov. 11. During the assembly, school personnel will introduce veterans and announce the branch of the service in which they served. If one of the students is a relative of one of the veterans, the student’s name will also be announced. For more information about the event call the school at (231) 832-5548.
ST. ANN SCHOOL
The school will be hosting a ceremony to honor veterans at 1 p.m. on Nov. 11. The event includes the Posting of the Colors, followed by everyone in attendance singing the Pledge of Allegiance and “God Bless the U.S.A.‘ There also will be a guest speaker.