COPPER HARBOR — An annual tradition is the Memorial Day service in Copper Harbor. ABC 10’s Keweenaw Bureau Reporter Rick Allen was there.
When the first Decoration Day was held in 1868, soldiers from the United States Army were garrisoned here at Fort Wilkins in Copper Harbor.
148 years later, that same day to honor servicemen and women who died fighting for their country was observed in what has now become known as Memorial Day.
Fort Wilkins Historic State Park Supervisor Wayne Burnett said, “This is just a unique location. It was an old fort from 1844 to 1846, and then again after the Civil War, the Corps came here to finalize their musters and fill out their enlistments.”
One of the traditions here at the fort is to have the children from the Copper Harbor school give a presentation.
For the 19th straight year, these children, grades Kindergarten through second, spent weeks preparing for this service. Burnett said, “Hopefully, at that age, too, they remember all these things and have listened to the military, what they’d done, and all the children that are in the stands here, the groups that came out with their families to watch this—they can think and hopefully dwell on what us adults have learned and how we talk.”