JENNIFER CLARKE, the mother of Shane Cantu, presented the Navy Honor Guard with a folded flag during the Memorial Day service at Heritage Park in Vernon’s Greenwood Cemetery on Monday, May 29. Cantu lost his life in battle in 2012 while in combat in Afghanistan.

   Receiving the flag from Clarke was HM2 Vandenberg (left) and HM Hernandez of the Navy Reserve Center in Battle Creek. The two hospital corpsmen mounted the flag, and with the assistance of Michigan Army National Guard Sergeant First Class Reynolds, raised the flag to half-mast for the ceremony, per military flag code. The flag was then raised to full staff after noon.

   The new 35-foot flagpole, which was a gift of the Cantu Family Memorial Fund, was dedicated during the ceremony to the county’s men and women in uniform, with special honor to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

   The new flagpole and large stamped concrete pad surrounding the flagpole are part of Phase I of the Greenwood Cemetery Restoration Project. Phase II involves further restoration of the historic cemetery and of the cemetery’s community mausoleum. So far the group has raised more than $200,000 for the project. To make a contribution or to help with the clean-up effort, contact any of the committee’s volunteers. To lend assistance, contact Fundraising Project Coordinator Barbara Runyan at (989) 640-5876, Restoration Coordinator Russ Hilliker at (989) 605-4690, Treasurer Connie Hilliker at (989) 288-2858, Project Support Gaylord Runyan at (989) 224-3574 or Volunteer Support Mary VanLoon at (989) 780-0580. Every dollar raised will be used specifically for the restoration of the cemetery.

(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)

Memorial Day Service at Heritage Park was last modified: June 6th, 2023 by Karen Elford