Credit: Kelly O'Day
A brand new veterans memorial in St. Francis Cemetery was christened with its first Memorial Day ceremony Monday, May 28. The new memorial has gone from conception to reality in just one year due to vast community support, numerous local contributions and volunteer labor. The tribute features a terrace with over 1,000 individual paver stones carved with the names of local veterans who served our country in war and peace. A WWI cannon, Memorial Stone, flag poles, reflection bench, flower planters and Battle Cross statue were unveiled at the Memorial Day program.
Master of Ceremonies was Mike VanLieshout. Featured speaker was Col. Paul Russell. Father Mike McLain of St. Francis Church conducted memorial prayers. Local veterans groups participated in the ceremony, along with the Merrill City Band and Merrill Boy Scout troops. A Black Hawk helicopter was on display as well as other military vehicles and a Caisson carrying a flag-draped casket.