2011-05-19 / News

Veterans Memorial statue dedication this Sunday

BY CARRIE RACOSTA 810-452-2652 

This Marine statue is one of five to find a tribute home at the Swartz Creek Veterans Memorial. 
Photo provided This Marine statue is one of five to find a tribute home at the Swartz Creek Veterans Memorial. Photo provided SWARTZ CREEK — The unveiling of the new veterans tribute statue is scheduled May 22 at 2 p.m.

The date was rescheduled because of cold temperatures and high winds. Rick Henry, chairman of the committee said, “we wanted it to be comfortable for everyone to attend, especially the older people in the community.”

The Marine statue, which cost $28,000, is one of five to find a tribute home at the memorial which is represented as the center star.

“I couldn’t have picked a better spot,” said Henry.

The memorial is located in the City Hall complex off Morrish Road.

Henry said his daughter brings out her students from Elms Elementary. “One little girl came up to me and asked where God’s brick was. I replied, God doesn’t need a brick. He is everywhere. She ran up to me later and said I found it. It was a brick that was inscribed with God Bless America,” he said.

These moments and more are the ones that stand out to Henry and his fellow volunteers. He speaks highly of the Swartz Creek Community and how young and old have embraced and supported this tribute.

“The kids have respect now and know what it means to support their veterans,” he said.

The veterans group is still working towards the purchase of the last statue in the series, which is a female Coast Guard tribute. The last piece is expected to arrive in November of this year, with the continued kind donations from the community. The group needs an additional $4,500 to bring her home to Swartz Creek. They are hoping to raise some funds with a dodge ball tournament to be held during Hometown Days on June 4.

Henry said there are also a few bricks left to purchase, if anyone is interested in helping in that way. Forms for the bricks can be picked up at the memorial or at city hall.

“We have never been told no when we asked for help,” said Henry. I think it is pretty amazing that in five years we could raise so much money,” he added. Young and old have reached out in monetary ways. Even the school age children adopt flags and put on fundraisers to purchase them yearly.

He speaks highly of the community and the people who support this endeavor through funds or simply attendance. At the last statue unveiling, more than 300 people came out to show their reverence. In the last five years the committee raised over $300,000 with the help of the public.

“This is fantastic. This touches people. Everybody tells us how grateful they are,” said Henry.

Anyone interested in joining the motorcycle honor guard leading up to the event can call Rick Henry at 810- 691-3653.

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