2017-11-16 / Life in Leelanau

Vets honored indoors as 100 people salute those who served

Change of venue brings vets in from the cold


HEAVY SNOW fell on a firing squad from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Little Finger Post just outside the VFW building in Lake Leelanau on Saturday morning during a Veterans Day observance. HEAVY SNOW fell on a firing squad from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Little Finger Post just outside the VFW building in Lake Leelanau on Saturday morning during a Veterans Day observance. About 100 people attended a Veterans Day observance Saturday morning that for the first time in memory was held inside the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) building in Lake Leelanau.

It was snowing — sometimes heavily — with temperatures in the 20s at the traditional venue, Veterans Memorial Plaza at the base of the county governmental complex in Suttons Bay Township,

“We had a lot of old guys, and they can only bundle up so much,” explained VFW Post Commander Greg Mikowski, “We moved it not just for the veterans, but everyone who comes.”

Alan Aldrich of Suttons Bay served as master of ceremonies as well as keynote speaker at the event. A Cold War veteran of the Air Force, Aldrich drew those in attendance into a discussion about the history of the 1947-1991 Cold War that ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union.


ALAN ALDRICH of Suttons Bay served as master of ceremonies and keynote speaker at a Veterans Day observance Saturday morning in the Veterans of Foreign Wars building in Lake Leelanau. ALAN ALDRICH of Suttons Bay served as master of ceremonies and keynote speaker at a Veterans Day observance Saturday morning in the Veterans of Foreign Wars building in Lake Leelanau. Offering the invocation was the Rev. Bryan Medlin of St. Mary’s Parish of Lake Leelanau.

Leelanau County Maintenance director Jerry Culman led everyone in the singing of the National Anthem. Retired Army musician James Cox performed “Taps” on the bugle.

Members of the Eagletown Post of the American Legion provided a color guard. A rifle salute was provided by members of the Little Finger Post of the VFW.

Guests of honor at the event included World War II veteran Dean Robb of Suttons Bay and Vietnam veteran Ron Hofmeister of Northport.


RECOGNIZED FOR their service at a Veterans Day observance Saturday in Lake Leelanau were World War II veteran Dean Robb of Suttons Bay, left, and Vietnam veteran Ron Hofmeister of Northport. RECOGNIZED FOR their service at a Veterans Day observance Saturday in Lake Leelanau were World War II veteran Dean Robb of Suttons Bay, left, and Vietnam veteran Ron Hofmeister of Northport. Mikowski apologized for a lack of organization caused partly because the change in venue was decided upon shortly before the observance was scheduled to begin. He said normally more time would be spent explaining the contributions and sacrifices made by Robb and Hofmeister.

“We didn’t get a chance to honor those people for their time in the service,” he explained.

Overall, however, Mikowski said the inside location seemed to be appreciated by those in attendance. In fact, he said, future Veterans Day observances may be held in the VFW Hall when weather dictates.

There’s also discussion about providing coffee and pastries at the Hall for everyone attending the ceremony.

“Not just the veterans, but everyone who comes. We’d like to have people over to the Hall for a cup of coffee,” he said.

Veterans Day 2017 was held on the 99th anniversary of an armistice ending World War I that was reached at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918.

— Photos by Eric Carlson

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