Honoring the fallen
Veterans mark Memorial Day with services across the region
IRONWOOD — Ironwood residents were able to attend three ceremonies on Memorial Day, at the Memorial Building, Veterans Monument downtown and Riverside Cemetery.
The first ceremony included performances by the Memorial Chorus, under the direction of Denise Woodward and memorial prayers from Father Rob Jurkovich, Rev. Kurt Kovanen and Brittany Delich.
The second ceremony including veterans marching through downtown Ironwood to the Veterans Monument, on the corner of Suffolk and Ayer streets. Members of the Junior ROTC program and marching band from Luther L. Wright School in Ironwood also participated.
Wreaths were laid at the location and the parade continued to the cemetery for the final ceremony, where members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary and veterans laid wreaths to honor different wars, including the Spanish American War, World War I and II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Operation Enduring Freedom, Iraq War, Afghanistan War and Granada, Panama, Persian Gulf and Bosnian.
A wreath was also placed in the Montreal River to honor the Navy, and roses were also laid in memory of those “who gave their lives and missed the joys of their children.”
A battlefield salute to fallen comrades took place for Vietnam veterans and a 21-gun salute was performed by members of the JROTC program.
After a playing of Taps, the marching band, directed by Steve Boyd, performed the national anthem, with many attendees singing along.
Master of ceremonies Col. Gary Harrington, of the Air Force, spoke about the 150 veterans who died in the past year from the area, and about the sacrifice that one soldier made during the Iraq War.
“That solider wrote, ‘My death did not change the world, but because of it, there will be a child who lived,’” Harrington said. “‘That child will go to school, walk down the streets without fear and grow into a fine man with the gift of freedom that I have enjoyed. If my death helps that child change the world, it was worth it.”