MUNISING, Mich. (WJMN) – The Veterans Day service at Maple Grove Cemetery was not only special to those who served for our country, but also to 17-year-old Frank Carlson.
Last spring, Carlson, a Life Scout for Troop 332, was cleaning up the veteran’s memorials at the cemetery when he noticed something missing.
“So, there’s two memorials there, there’s an older one and a newer one,” said Carlson. “The older one has a pole and it’s not the greatest pole, it’s handmade, just metal pipes. The older one just didn’t have pole at all, which I thought was quite odd to be honest. Like, it’s a memorial for people who served our country I feel like there should be a pole there.”
Carlson has been a scout since the first grade, with a goal of becoming an Eagle Scout, scouting’s highest rank. To achieve this rank advancement, Carlson must complete a project that brings value to the community. This is when the walk-through Maple Grove Cemetery sparked an idea to fundraise money to put a flagpole in the new veteran’s memorial.
“It really came from my respect for Vietnam veterans and veterans of all sorts. My grandpa was a veteran, my great uncle served in the Vietnam War. He actually wrote about it, it’s really very interesting. He’s a real cool guy. I think it’s really important that we honor and respect these people that put their lives on the line to give us freedom. It’s very important,” said Carlson.
Carlson soon got to work, sending out emails and delivering letters to businesses in the area about his project. Thanks to the generosity of his community, it didn’t take long for Carlson to reach his goal of about $3,000.
On Friday for Veterans Day, Carlson invited local veterans to join him to raise the flag for the first time.
“I’m very grateful for all of them to make it up here. It means a lot to me, you know. This is a very important thing.”
Frank’s father, Pete Carlson has been helping Frank through scouting since the first grade, and as you would expect, he’s extremely proud of his son.
“I couldn’t be happier with what he’s done in regard to all the work it took to get to this point. and raising the flag. It was a little nerve-wracking towards the end, we were really delayed on the pole. We didn’t get it put in until Tuesday morning as soon as it got here,” said Pete Carlson.
Frank’s grandfather, Ray Carlson, traveled from downstate to attend the ceremony. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1961 to 1964.
“This is a very emotional time for me to see my grandson, I’m so proud of him and to see what he’s accomplished in making this happen with the flagpole. It’s just amazing to me.”