The Grand Traverse Area Veterans Memorial has become a reality thanks through the efforts of Jack Pickard, President of the Grand Traverse Area Veterans Memorial Coalition and all the others that have donated their time, work, and money to make this a success. Sunday September 18, 2011 a formal dedication ceremony, with ribbon cutting, salutes, flag raising, special speakers, awards presented honoring those that have put so much time, energy, and money to make this happen. Additional work will continue in updating and maintenance. For more information on Grand Traverse Area Veterans Memorial Park and the engraved bricks are still available as a fundraiser, contact George Champlin at 231-590-8617
Since our nation was founded, America has called upon its men and later women to answer the call to defend and protect our country. Millions have answered that call to arms and have made the sacrifices necessary to keep our nation free. Many have paid the ultimate price, "their lives." Our country can never repay them for what they have done, but we can honor them and their memories by preserving their stories so that future generations may know.
These heroic individuals are called VETERANS, and many of them never tell their experiences to anyone. As they disappear with age, a valuable national treasure is lost. They serve their country, come home and lead productive and useful lives raising families and serving their respective communities in various ways. Yet their stories remain untold and a secret known only to them. How sad that future generations are deprived of this part of history. History books in our schools and libraries cannot and do not reveal the intimate feelings of these veterans.
To the future generations, I hope that you will never be called upon to make the sacrifices our veterans have made, but should it become necessary for you to do so, please remember that you must uphold the standards that the past generations so nobly set. Today's veterans wish you well and hope that you can enjoy our precious liberty and freedom; this is what we fought for and now hand the mantle to you.
U.S. Marine Corps Retired
President John Lefler