American Legion Post 44 honors Veterans no longer with us ahead of Memorial Day

Local News

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) — Memorial Day weekend is upon us and many are unable to do their annual activities. A local organization is doing what they can during this pandemic for those who fought for our freedoms.

“This is a day that the nation’s gotta remember that freedom isn’t free. It cost a lot of men and women their lives,” said Tom Ranta, Adjutant, American Legion Post 44.

Unable to have their annual Memorial Day services, members of the American Legion Post 44 & Auxiliary placed flags on the graves of local veterans who are no longer with us.

Post 44 Adjutant Tom Ranta knows with the current pandemic, they need to ensure the safety of those who help honor these soldiers.

“We can’t have the big group out there naturally, so we didn’t bring the boy scouts or girl scouts who come out, so we are just going to have a small group, do it as safe as possible and we do break away. Cemeteries are big, so were going to break into different groups and make sure each section is covered.”

Between 1,200 and 1,300 veterans rest at both, Park and Holy Cross Cemeteries in Marquette.

“Even though we can’t have the other services, we still want to make sure that those flags are waving over each and every Veterans grave.”

The pandemic may get in the way of many people’s plans this weekend, but Ranta hopes they can still understand the meaning of Memorial Day.

“We wanted to make sure that we did something to honor those the Veterans. We never want to forget them and Memorial Day is usually the start of summer and so many people just remember it as that first cook out and everything else. Of course this year, a lot of things have changed. We want to make sure that they remember what Memorial Day is for and this is a day to honor those who really gave the ultimate sacrifice.”

Members of the American Legion Post 44 will be at the Holy Cross Cemetery Thursday at 6 pm honoring those prior to this Memorial Day weekend.

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