JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – It was a busy Memorial Day across mid-Michigan as communities gathered to honor those who gave it all to their country.
In Jackson County, it was a day that brought a new memorial and a big thank you to veterans that was decades in the making.
Brooklyn’s Memorial Day parade was full of tradition.
But this year there was a new addition in the Brooklyn village square.
“It’s really fantastic to see it come together,” said Brooklyn Village Manager Jae Guetschow.
The Fallen Warriors Memorial was dedicated during the parade.
Members of the local American Legion and Knights of Columbus raised nearly $10,000 in three months to make it happen.
“Very generous donations from individuals, families and organizations,” Guetschow said.
The memorial features the classic Battlefield Cross design, with room for the names of people from the Irish Hills area who died serving their country.
“Get the names of those soldiers on plaques and those plaques will be attached to the marble base of the memorial,” Guetschow said.
Also happening in Jackson County was a Blessing of the Veterans event at South Jackson Community Church.
Local clergy took a moment to anoint veterans and say a prayer with them.
U.S. Representative Tim Walberg was there to deliver pins to Vietnam-era vets, thanking them for their service.
“You see their lips and chin start to quiver, their eyes start to cloud up, you know it means something to them,” said Rep. Walberg, a republican from Michigan’s 7th District.
Congressman Walberg says the service of Vietnam vets was often overlooked because of the turmoil surrounding the war.
And now, he wants to do his part to correct that.
“Whether or not you agreed with the Vietnam War or not, you served, because your country called,” Rep. Walberg said.
Vietnam-era vet Andy Crisenbery received a pin from the congressman and says it’s more than just a little piece of metal.
“It’s really appreciated,” said the navy veteran from Parma. “Nice to know he’s recognizing those who came home and were not welcomed home. Because that was a shame and something that I have always felt bad for.”
If there’s a fallen hero from the Irish Hills you’d like to honor on the new memorial, contact the Brooklyn American Legion.