Memorial Day is a week from today and with stay at home orders still in place, many communities in Blue Water Area are starting to cancel parades and events honoring our fallen heroes. The City of Port Huron, American Legion Post 8, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 796, which sponsors the Port Huron Memorial Day Parade, has officially cancelled this year’s event. The safety of the spectators, veterans, families, and volunteers is our upmost importance.
“This parade and ceremony is our community’s long standing tradition however, we need everyone to stay safe and take care of each other. In light of the cancelation, the Memorial Day Parade Committee would like everyone in the community to observe a moment of silence on Monday, May 25th at 12 noon as a show of respect for our fallen heroes who will be forever remembered by our community for their actions and devotions from this day forward,” said Alan Piper, Memorial Day Parade Committee Chairperson.
This year’s Memorial Day we will also recognize 27-local fallen heroes from World War I and II, Korean, Vietnam, and Iraq Wars. Just before the stay at home orders, the St. Clair County Veterans Council and Memorial Tablet Committee determined there were additional local military service members who died in service and have met the criteria to be added to the monument in Pine Grove Park.
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“Last year we had the distinct opportunity to have 21 names added to the tablets. At that time, I was about 60% done with my research. As the research continued, I continue to identify more county residents that lost their life because of their service to our country. At this stage, I think we have found almost all but cannot honestly say that we will not find more in the future. Of the 27 names that have been added, three were identified through the Blue Water Area Fallen Heroes Community Banner Project spearheaded by Mr. Ed Weichsler. The bottom line is that 27 former servicemen with ties to St. Clair County who paid the supreme sacrifice on the altar of freedom will finally and forever be memorialized on the sacred tablets located in Pine Grove Park. Never to be forgotten anymore. This is truly the largest number that has been added since the Vietnam War,” said Daniel J. Crocker, retired State Director of Veterans Services, Department of Michigan of Veterans of Foreign Wars. Crocker’s involvement with the Memorial Tablet Committee dates back to the early 1980’s. Since his retirement as Director, he has been actively involved in researching and identifying war dead from St. Clair County, Michigan and documenting those findings.
The following service members will be remembered and honored:
World War I
Private First-Class Gabriel H. Dibble, Marine City
Private John A. Fraley, Casco Township
Private Edward C. Hastings, Wadhams
Captain Harold G. Ross, Port Huron
World War II
Private First-Class David D. Bryce, Port Huron
Private John A. Cartwright, Algonac
Private Rolla W. Caskie, Port Huron
Private Robert T. Chandler, Ira Township
Corporal Frederick N. Cryderman, Port Huron
Private First-Class Donald L. Diebel, Port Huron
Staff Sergeant Stanley H. Firth, Port Huron
Captain Jack S. Gerrie, Port Huron
Private John Grenenko, Port Huron
Private First-Class Frank S. Gubala, Marine City
Private John C. Haxer, Marine City
Carpenters Mate 3rd Class Thomas J. Herman, Avoca
Private First-Class Raymond D. Hill, Jr., Marine City
Ships Cook 1st Class Richard E. Hoetger, Marine City
Private First-Class James E. Lindsay Jr., Port Huron
Private Harry J. Massman, Port Huron
Lieutenant Ray W. Sherman, Port Huron
Sergeant Marvin L. Stolp, St. Clair
Staff Sergeant Michael J. Tanowigch, Yale
Private Carl F. Williams, Marysville
Corporal Richard M. King, Algonac
Private First-Class Allan D. Timmerman, Port Huron
Lance Corporal Thomas P. Echols, St. Clair
In addition to being on the Pine Grove Tablet, these fallen heroes will also be included in the Blue Water Fallen Heroes Community Banner Program. We need the community’s help to obtain photographs for over 580 service members who died while serving their country. To include service members from World War I to the current Gulf War who resided in cities/townships across St. Clair County. If you are a family member, a friend or an acquaintance of a service member who died while serving their country, call the banner message line at (810) 985-2007 to receive more information on how to provide a photograph.
We invite everyone in the community to observe a moment of silence on Monday, May 25th at 12 noon to show of respect for our fallen heroes who will be forever remembered by our community. For those that wish to view the 27 former servicemen on the monument in Pine Grove Park, please visit the park by keeping a 6-Foot distance, avoiding crowds, and wear a mask or face covering. For more information, contact Nancy Deising, BS, CHES®, Outreach Coordinator, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.