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Observe Veterans Day at events in Ferndale, Berkley

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published November 7, 2017

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FERNDALE/BERKLEY — Veterans Day is on the horizon this weekend, and residents in Ferndale and Berkley can find celebrations in both cities.

A Veterans Day event organized by the Ferndale Memorial Association will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at the city’s war memorial near the middle of Livernois Street, south of Nine Mile Road, across from the Fire Department. 

Stephen Lemelin, a member of the Ferndale Memorial Association, said the ceremony will feature a speech from someone who’s still in the military or just retired. The association hadn’t finalized a speaker for the event as of last week.

“It’s a positive holiday, and a lot of people think it’s more like Memorial Day, where you got to be serious. This is not serious — just a little serious. This is a positive holiday. I like that we can give people that difference,” he said.

Lemelin, an active member of the National Guard since 1998, said the event is about understanding what veterans served for and being thankful for them, but that the event will be positive.

“There’s a lot of people in your community that are or were in the military, and they did all kinds of different service, and that’s why we try to get a different person (to speak) every year — to just understand that it’s an experience that people take with them their whole lives, and as a society, it is important to recognize the sacrifices they may have made,” he said.

In Berkley, the Berkley Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9222 and American Legion Post 374 will host a ceremony at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 at the City Hall gazebo.

John Fulks, commander of Berkley VFW Post 9222 and a Navy veteran who served during the Vietnam War, said they will have speakers at the event to recognize veterans of all branches of the armed forces.

“We also honor not only the veterans for Veterans Day in celebration, but we also pay tribute to those who have passed in a memorial at the end,” he said. “At the end, what we do is say a prayer, and then we raise the flag to half-staff, and then we have a firing, and then we play taps.”

Fulks said the proceedings will last about 30 minutes, and he hopes people come out so they understand why Veterans Day is important.

“It’s a celebration day for the veterans,” he said.