2013-09-19 / News

County rededicates 100-year old Civil War monument


100-year chalenge The Civil War monument which stands in front of the Roscommon County Building was first dedicated in 1913 and 100 years later on Sept. 11, 2013 the county held a rededication ceremony honoring those who served from 1913 to 2013. Roscommon County Commission Vice-Chair Marc Milburn challenged those who are serving the county in 2113 to rededicate the monument again honoring those who served from 2013 to 2113. 100-year chalenge The Civil War monument which stands in front of the Roscommon County Building was first dedicated in 1913 and 100 years later on Sept. 11, 2013 the county held a rededication ceremony honoring those who served from 1913 to 2013. Roscommon County Commission Vice-Chair Marc Milburn challenged those who are serving the county in 2113 to rededicate the monument again honoring those who served from 2013 to 2113. As a way to honor veterans who served the United States from 1913 to 2013, Roscommon County held a rededication ceremony of the county’s Civil War monument on Sept. 11.

The monument was first dedicated in 1913 to honor those who served in the Civil War. Earlier this summer, Roscommon County Commission Vice-Chair Marc Milburn (District 4) suggested rededicating the monument. Instead of using taxpayers’ money to fund the monument, it was suggested by Roscommon County Jail Administrator Lt. Steve LeMire to seek an alternate way to fund the project.


KEYNOTE SPEAKER Houghton Lake resident and Roscommon County 2012 Person of the Year Murl “Pinky” Randall served as the keynote speaker of the Civil War monument rededication on Sept. 11. Randall served in World War II and the Korean War as a member of the United States Army. KEYNOTE SPEAKER Houghton Lake resident and Roscommon County 2012 Person of the Year Murl “Pinky” Randall served as the keynote speaker of the Civil War monument rededication on Sept. 11. Randall served in World War II and the Korean War as a member of the United States Army. From there a campaign was started seeking funds to purchase a plaque for the ceremony. Donations not only came from the public but also from veterans groups. The Houghton Lake Marine Corps League, the Houghton Lake VFW Post 4034 and the Prudenville American Legion Post 245 all donated to the rededication as well as various individual donors.

Not only did local veterans organizations take notice of the rededication, so did Governor Rick Snyder, Sen. Darwin Booher and Rep. Bruce Rendon as the three collectively sent a letter of tribute recognizing the rededication of the monument.


REDEDICATION DIGNITARIES Standing with the new plaque which will be affixed to the Civil War monument honoring those who served from 1913 to 2013 are (from left) Commissioner Lowell Souder (District 5), Commission Chairman and Army veteran Bob Schneider (District 3), Pastor Tom Anderson of the Houghton Lake United Methodist Church, former Roscommon County Clerk and USMC veteran Robert Smith, Deputy Director of Veterans Affairs for the State of Michigan Senator Jason Allen, Commission Vice-Chair and USMC veteran Marc Milburn (District 4) holding his son, Warren Milburn, Commissioner and Army veteran Ken Melvin, Pastor and U.S. Coast Guard veteran Dr. David Hansen of the Roscommon Immanuel Baptist Church, keynote speaker and Army veteran Murl “Pinky” Randall and Commissioner David Russo. REDEDICATION DIGNITARIES Standing with the new plaque which will be affixed to the Civil War monument honoring those who served from 1913 to 2013 are (from left) Commissioner Lowell Souder (District 5), Commission Chairman and Army veteran Bob Schneider (District 3), Pastor Tom Anderson of the Houghton Lake United Methodist Church, former Roscommon County Clerk and USMC veteran Robert Smith, Deputy Director of Veterans Affairs for the State of Michigan Senator Jason Allen, Commission Vice-Chair and USMC veteran Marc Milburn (District 4) holding his son, Warren Milburn, Commissioner and Army veteran Ken Melvin, Pastor and U.S. Coast Guard veteran Dr. David Hansen of the Roscommon Immanuel Baptist Church, keynote speaker and Army veteran Murl “Pinky” Randall and Commissioner David Russo. With the plaque purchased, the commissioners chose Sept. 11 as the day to hold the rededication ceremony as Milburn said it was a fitting day to honor those who have served the United States.


SALUTE Members of local VFW, American Legion and Masonic Lodge chapters also participated in the Civil War rededication ceremony on Sept. 11. Veterans organizations like the American Legion, VFW and Marine Corps League as well as donations from the public helped to fund the purchase of the rededication plaque. SALUTE Members of local VFW, American Legion and Masonic Lodge chapters also participated in the Civil War rededication ceremony on Sept. 11. Veterans organizations like the American Legion, VFW and Marine Corps League as well as donations from the public helped to fund the purchase of the rededication plaque. The hour-long ceremony began with welcoming remarks by Milburn, the Pledge of Allegiance led by former Roscommon County Clerk and USMC veteran Robert Smith and an invocation by Pastor Tom Anderson of the Houghton Lake United Methodist Church.

Milburn then gave a short opening speech before Roscommon County Commission Chairman and Army veteran Bob Schneider (District 3) read the letter of tribute signed by Snyder, Booher and Rendon.

Deputy Director of Veterans Affairs for the State of Michigan Senator Jason Allen then took the audience’s attention as he reviewed the loss of life in past American wars. He said for every one death of the Civil War there was one survivor, for every one death during World War II there were two survivors and for every single death that has occurred in a present war there have been 32 survivors.

He noted that Michigan was one of the lowest ranking states when it came to assisting veterans. He said Michigan has taken action to improve its standings and has made assisting its veterans a priority as a 40-person staff has been set up by the Veterans Affairs office to serve Michigan veterans.

Life-long Roscommon County resident and Army veteran Murl “Pinky” Randall, who was also named the Roscommon County 2012 Person of the Year, acted as the keynote speaker for the rededication ceremony.

Randall said he remembers passing by the Civil War monument as a 13-year old on his way to get his drivers licence and now looks at the monument with thanks as the county has made it a priority to honor those who have served.

“It means a lot to me,” Randall said of the rededication.

Randall thanked those in attendance and especially the children who attended as all should be “conscious of history.”

He urged those in attendance to not only take a good look at the Civil War monument by also the monument honoring the Daughters of the American Revolution located on Old 27 in Roscommon Township. He said both monuments are a representation of those who died in the name of patriotism.

“That’s what we really need in this county…patriotism,” Randall said.

Randall added that the community of Roscommon County should not only be proud of its country, but also of Roscommon County as it is “rich” in several assets. He said the county has “great schools,” highways that run through the county for easy access, several service organizations, a large geographical area and plenty of natural resources.

At the end of his speech, Randall thanked all those who have served.

“I’m so proud of these veterans [from Roscommon County] and I salute them,” Randall said.

The ceremony concluded with a rifle salute by the VFW, taps played by Bill Kopko, “Amazing Grace” played by bagpiper Louie Arreola and a benediction by Pastor and U.S. Coast Guard veteran Dr. David Hansen of the Roscommon Immanuel Baptist Church.

In his closing remarks, Milburn challenged the citizens and those who will have served Roscommon County in 100 years to hold another rededication ceremony in 2113 to honor those who served the United States between the years of 2013 and 2113.

Milburn said the format he used for the Sept. 11, 2013 rededication was based on the format of the 1913 original monument dedication. He added he found record of the original dedication in Roscommon County newspapers from the past and hopes like him someone will look back in newspapers from 2013 and decide to hold another rededication.

After the ceremony, those in attendance were able to socialize over cake and refreshments donated by the Roscommon County Commissioners.

A fund has been set up for the monument, which will be used for maintenance. To donate to the maintenance fund make checks payable to the Roscommon County Controller.

Photos by Krista Tacey-Cater

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