MARQUETTE — While Memorial Day weekend usually signifies the start of summer, it’s important to remember why Americans celebrate the holiday in the first place.
To kick-off the weekend, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 22 of Marquette hosted a breakfast outing at Staybridge Suites on Friday. The event was made possible by the Annual DAV “Forget Me Not” fundraiser, which takes place every August, and Jeffrey’s Restaurant.
Special guests included local Veterans from the Jacobetti Home and three essay contest winners from Negaunee Middle School. The essay contest is held annually, but the topic varies from year to year.
For the 2018 contest, fifth graders from Negaunee wrote essays about what they like about being American. The three winning essays were read by the authors for the veterans to hear.
While the essays are great every year, local DAV Commander Will Weycker said that this year’s essays stood out from the past.
“We had a lot of things about our political system in the essays that were impressive, their understanding of the branches of government and the freedoms we have as Americans, so, it was great,” said Weycker.
Laurel Hill, who’s essay placed second in this year’s contest, wrote that she’s proud to be an American because of two Constitutional rights: freedom of speech and religion. She also talked about the importance of educational opportunities in the country.
“Education is important so you can get a nice job. Speech is important because it allows truth to surface and prevail, and religion is important because we don’t want to force Americans to do something that they don’t want to do,” said Hill.
First place in the essay contest went to Ella Standerford and Halle Palomaki’s essay took third. Both their parents and Veterans enjoying the outing were impressed by the essays.
“I am beaming that they articulated their thoughts on America and the Veterans and everything that this weekend stands for,” said Albert Ford, a Marine Corps Veteran that resides at the Jacobetti Home.
Memorial Day is this Monday, May 28th. The DAV will be hosting Memorial Day ceremonies at Park Cemetery (9:30 a.m.) and Holy Cross Cemetery (10:15 a.m.) in Marquette.
For more information on Disabled American Veterans Chapter 22, click HERE.