A FLAG RAISING CEREMONY signifies stage one of the rebuilding process for Great Lakes Fabrication and Machining in Vernon Township. The ceremony was held at the M-71 property, owned/operated by Tammy and Bryan Marks, on Monday, March 25, after millions of dollars of damages were incurred in the area when two tornadoes struck Shiawassee County on Thursday, March 14.
One of the elements that made it through the damaging storm system was the huge flagpole in front of Great Lakes Fabrication and Machining. The rest of the structure is pretty much in shambles. The original flag was later located in a field after a tornado had damaged the local business. Amazingly, the pole was still capable of hoisting another flag. That new flag was gifted from the State Capitol in Lansing, where it was recently flown.
Bryan Marks, of Great Lakes, spoke to employees and community members prior to the raising. “This is not so much for myself, my family or my employees. It is for our whole community,” he shared. Marks expressed his gratitude to State Rep. Ben Frederick and State Senator Tom Barrett for their “compassion and leadership.” Both Frederick and Barrett were on-hand for the ceremony.
Rodger Hathaway, a 37-year employee, was actually the last on location before the tornado hit. He had just left to go home for dinner. Marks and Hathaway were responsible for hoisting the flag at the Monday ceremony.
“This is for all of us to look at,” Marks said.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)