IRON COUNTY—Those who gave their all for their country will be remembered and honored next Monday, May 27, when Iron County and the rest of the nation observes Memorial Day.
Special ceremonies will take place Memorial Day morning at cemeteries around the county, led by the West Side and East Side Veterans councils. In Bates Township, a new veterans memorial at the township cemetery will be unveiled and dedicated.
Bates Township: The service at the Bates Township Cemetery will start at 8 a.m., with the flag-raising ceremony by members of Veterans of Foreign War Post 3134 of Iron River. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony takes place at the Township Hall.
The Ottawa Post 3134 of the VFW will provide the color guard. Kerry Rivard, a Bates Township resident, is the vocalist, and Pastor Dan Waters of Iron River Bible Church will give the invocation.
The speaker will be Joy DeNicola, who, with Paul DeNicola, headed the committee for the Bates Township Veterans Memorial project. The new memorial will be unveiled and dedicated during the Memorial Day program.
She has lived in Bates Township for the last seven years and has been Iron County’s veterans service officer for five years. She is the wife of a combat veteran of the Vietnam War and a retired licensed mental health counselor with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree from Mount Mary College.
A continental breakfast will be served immediately after the ceremony at the Bates Township Hall.
Iron River: Memorial Day events begin at 8 a.m. with the firing of a volley at the old City Cemetery by American Legion Post 17.
At 9:30, the West Side Veterans Council will lead a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial on Genesee Street. The presidents of the Legion Post 17 Auxiliary and VFW Post 3134 Auxiliary will present the wreath at the memorial.
The parade forms on River Avenue at 10 a.m. and marches west on Genesee Street to Sixth Avenue, where it disbands.
The program at Resthaven Cemetery starts at 11 a.m. The West Side Veterans Council will provide the music. Darin Long is master of ceremonies, and Don Wolf, adjutant of the West Side Veterans Council, will lead the invocation and benediction.
The main speaker will be U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, First District congressman.
A combined unit of all veterans groups will assemble for the firing of the volley and the playing of taps. The two Auxiliary presidents will present the wreath at the cemetery.
Stambaugh: Members of Reino American Legion Post 21 will place flags on the graves of veterans at Stambaugh Cemetery on Sunday, May 27, at 9 a.m.
The program on Memorial Day starts at 10:30 a.m. Marie Brunswick will be the master of ceremonies.
The flag will be raised by members of the Caspian-Gaastra Fire Department, while Kerry Rivard sings the National Anthem. The Rev. James Swanson of First Covenant Church, who is also chaplain for Post 21, will give the invocation and benediction.
Connie Jagelewski and Roselyn Johnson, members of the Reino Post 21 Ladies Auxiliary, will place the wreath, and West Iron County students Alex Nelson and Marissa Jacks will give recitations.
The high school band will play two patriotic songs.
The speaker is Dave Juncer, who served in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1967, serving in A Troop, 1/4 Calvary, 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam. After returning to the states, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and re-entered active duty in 1972 with a commission in armor. He later attended the University of Illinois Law School, graduated and was admitted to the Illinois State Bar in 1979. Juncer was commissioned in the Army Reserve as captain in 1980 and served in numerous locations, retiring as a major in 1993.
Juncer’s grandfather was born in Amasa in 1901, and he moved to Iron County himself in 2001. He has been a member of the American Legion since 1991 and is a member of Reino Post 21 and of VFW Post 3134..
The program concludes with the firing of the volley by members of the Reino Post 21 firing squad and the playing of taps.
Beechwood: Ceremonies at Rosehill Cemetery begin at 8 a.m., after the AMVETS Post 436 color guard marches to the site.
Dorothy Javoroski will be the master of ceremony and will introduce the Rev. Gary Markworth of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, who will give the invocation and benediction. Curt Brendel, a West Iron County student, will play a patriotic solo.
The speaker will be Maj. Steve Tegge, an infantry officer and company commander in the Army who has served several tours of duty in Afghanistan. He is the son of Iron River resident Richard Tegge, a retired Air Force colonel.
After the reading of the roll call, the Post 436 color guard, led by Commander Frank Jirik, will fire the volley, and Brewndel will play taps.
Immediately after the program, everyone is invited to the Beechwood Hall for coffee and refreshments.
Crystal Falls/Amasa: The East Side Veterans Council observance will start with a short parade, which lines up at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Logan Street at 8:30 a.m. and steps off at 9.
The procession marches to the ceremony area at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, where the rest of the program will be held.
Christopher Sholander is the master of ceremonies and opens the program. The Rev. Nate Reed of United Methodist Church will give the invocation, and the Forest Park High School band will play the National Anthem.
The main speaker will be Tony Scarlassara, Iron County prosecuting attorney, who was first elected to the position in 2008.
Scarlassara and his wife, Dr. Kimberly Scarlassara, operate Northwoods Family Chiropractic in Iron River. He was raised in Iron County, where he attended high school and played four years of football. After graduation, he served in the Army and married his wife, Kim. After his honorable discharge from the Army, he attended Central Michigan University, earning a bachelor of science degree.
Scarlassara first became a police officer but, after a work-related injury, became interested in chiropractic and attended the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. When not working with patients, he loves hunting, especially bow hunting, and kayaking on rivers and small lakes.
After his remarks and music by the Forest Park band, the Ladies Auxiliary will lead the wreath ceremony, followed by a volley by the color guard, taps by the band’s buglers and a closing prayer by Reed.
Following the ceremony, participants will board school buses to travel to Amasa for the parade and program there. En route, the veterans and auxiliaries will stop at the 82nd Airborne Division Memorial for a wreath ceremony led by the 82nd Airborne Auxiliary. The salute includes a volley by the color guard and the playing of taps.
In case of inclement weather, the parade would be canceled, and the service will be held inside Eddie Chambers Memorial Gym at Forest Park High School starting at 9:30 a.m. An announcement would be made on WIKB radio.
The Amasa parade takes place downtown. After the parade, buses take participants to Hematite Cemetery, where the service at Evergreen Cemetery will be repeated.
After the ceremony, Amasa will hold its 16th annual Heritage Day celebration (separate story).
Anyone who would like to help put the flags away on Tuesday, May 28, is asked to be at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery at 9 a.m.