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Memorial Day ceremony urges reflection for the fallen, expresses value of sacrifice

By Dennis Volkert
City of Sturgis held a Memorial Day ceremony Monday.
It began with a procession involving veterans and Sturgis High School’s marching band, from Sturgis VFW to Oaklawn Park, where the program took place..
Sturgis mayor Frank Perez gave a welcome address. He emphasized that Memorial Day is more than simply a holiday, it’s a reminder of sacrifice made to protect freedom.
“The freedoms we enjoy today come at a high cost,” Perez said. “For every soldier who has fallen, there are families and loved ones who bear the weight of their absence.”
“Let us express our gratitude for their sacrifices and commit to upholding the values they fought for: liberty, justice and democracy,” he said. “Let us carry forward the memory of our fallen heroes with hope and resilience. Their legacy endures in our hearts and in the freedoms we cherish.”
Featured speaker was James Searing, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps. Searing reflected on the camaraderie and commitment of those with whom he served. He recited a short passage called “Remember Me.”
“To the happy, I am at peace, and to the faithful, I have never left. …. As you stand upon a shore, gazing at a beautiful sea, remember me.”
Additional featured participants:
Invocation and benediction: Ren Hartung, Chaplin VFW Post 1344
Flag-raising: Marvin Shields, E8 Retired, Michigan National Guard.
Pledge of Allegiance: Rod Millard, commander, VFW Honor/Color Guard
Roll Call of the Wars: Tom Abney, commander, VFW Post 1355.
Salute to the Wars: Larry K. Richardson, FCSS (SW) USN Retired.
Roll Call of the Dead: Jim Broadbridge, American Legion Post 73.
Salute to the Dead: VFW Honor Guard.
Master of ceremonies: Mike Stiles, WBET.
Taps: Lauren Whitehead.
Photos by Dennis Volkert/Sentinel

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