RC Flag Day ceremony happens Saturday

News Photo by Crystal Nelson Mark Thompson, executive director of the Presque Isle County Historical Museum, on Thursday puts the finishing touches on one of the museum’s exhibits for Rogers City’s annual Flag Day celebration, which happens on Saturday.

ROGERS CITY — The fifth annual Flag Day celebration in Rogers City will be held on Saturday, with an 11 a.m. parade kicking off the day’s events.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars color guard, emergency service personnel, and Scouts will march in the parade, which will begin at Westminster Park, head onto Third Street, and then to Michigan Avenue. The parade ends at the Bradley Museum, 176 W. Michigan Ave.

A flag-raising and wreath-laying will follow the parade, along with the playing of taps and a 21-gun salute. Presque Isle County Probate Judge Erik Stone, Mayor Scott McLennan, state Rep. Sue Allor, R-Wolverine, and Mark Thompson, executive director of the Presque Isle County Historical Museum, will speak at the event.

Following the ceremony, the Rogers City Band will play a selection of patriotic music.

The Rogers City Masonic Lodge partners with the museum to hold the event each year.

“I think it’s very important to recognize the flag and all that it represents,” Past Master Dave Nadolsky said, adding that the flag-raising ceremony is a solemn affair. “The VFW does a very good job with that, and VFWs from the area, like Posen, Indian River, and Cheboygan, are going to be there, so I think we are going to have quite a few people marching and participating in the flag-raising ceremony.”

A traveling Vietnam Wall will be among the highlights of the celebration. The public can view the wall from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Saturday at the museum’s Hoffman Annex, 175 W. Michigan Ave.

The wall, which is visiting the city courtesy of the Vietnam Veterans of America from Roseville Chapter 154, recognizes more than 2,600 Michigan servicemembers who died in the Vietnam War.

Thompson, who served in the Vietnam War, has been trying to get the wall to come to Rogers City for the past three or four years.

“I think we want to make sure that the 58,000 people that died are not forgotten,” he said. “A lot of us were not treated very well when we came back. We certainly were not treated like the World War II veterans were treated when they came home.”

He said it has really been within the past 10 to 20 years that society has almost gone out of their way to honor Vietnam Veterans.

In addition to the traveling wall, the annex will have two exhibits available to the public, one memorializing 10 men from Presque Isle County who lost their lives serving in Vietnam and a second exhibit of military uniforms.

“I just know it’s really a tremendous exhibit, to see the 26,000 names of people from our state that died,” Thompson said. “It’s very powerful.”

Crystal Nelson can be reached at 989-358-5687 or cnelson@thealpenanews.com.

If you go

∫ WHAT: Flag Day celebration

∫ WHEN: Traveling Vietnam Wall available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Saturday; parade followed by flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony begins at 11 a.m. Saturday

∫ WHERE: Parade begins at Westminster Park at 11 a.m. Saturday and ends at the Bradley Museum, 176 W. Michigan Ave., where the wall will be stationed

∫ HOW MUCH: Free

∫ INFO: For more information, visit thebradleyhouse.org.