A ceremony was held today at Little Flanders Field in Alpena to honor Veterans who have served the country.
There was a huge crowd at today’s ceremony, as family, friends, and vets paid their respects to men and women of all military branches. The Alpena observation included remarks by local officials, presentations of awards and, wreath placements.
A member of the American Legion 65 for 56 plus years, Lawrence LaHaie was honored today and received the Alpena County Veteran of the Year award.
LaHaie family was filled with emotion during today’s ceremony as the 88 –year–old walked proudly to receive his plague for his service in the army. LaHaie’s sister in law says that veterans day should always be honored because of the freedom people have living in America.
“Our freedom, our freedom in the USA. So we have to be very proud of all the people that served and are still alive, and people should show more respect for them,” she said.
U.s. navy veteran, and mayor of Alpena, Matt Waligora spoke at today’s ceremony. Mayor Waligora reminded everyone that sometimes veterans have invisible wounds. He encouraged vets to call the VA Crisis Hotline if they are ever in need of help.
“It happens to be the state as our home to over 640,000 veterans…we’re making that difference. For instance, my friend’s John Gilman, Jeff black and many others took to Facebook to do 22 push–ups for 22 days to raise awareness. Statically 22 veterans commit suicide everyday. There’s help out there brothers and sisters and I’m begging you to reach out. Call the VA,” Waligora said.
Waligora also spoke about the Veteran’s Homeless Hotline.
Today’s ceremony ended with a rifle salute by the honor guard from VFW 2496, and two bell rings by the Marine Corps League.