Funds sought for UP Veterans War Memorial improvements

Annual golf scramble event set June 15 to raise money for work

BARB LARSON UNCOVERS the bronze bust of a U.S. Marine that is on display in the pavilion at the Upper Peninsula Veterans Memorial and Park atop Pine Mountain. Larson and her husband, Dennis, helped establish the memorial and park in 2006 and were getting it ready Friday for Memorial Day weekend. (Marguerite Lanthier/Daily News photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — A new flag was installed at the Upper Peninsula Veterans War Memorial and Park on Friday, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

They replace the flag, which costs about $700, about twice a year.

Dennis and Barb Larson and Robert and Lori Massicotte helped establish the memorial in 2006.

The idea for the memorial came at a ski jump tournament and it all started with the flagpole. Barb said her husband and his friends noticed all the other countries had large flags flying but there was only one small American flag.

“My husband, being very patriotic, said ‘That’s not going to fly, we’ve got to put up a flagpole.’ The flagpole itself was $10,000,” she said.

FROM LEFT, VOLUNTEERS Bob Massicotte and Jim Richards watch as Dennis Larson applies glue to paver bricks that were installed at the Upper Peninsula Veterans Memorial and Park atop Pine Mountain. (Marguerite Lanthier/Daily News photo)

“We went through a lot red tape, paperwork, even as far as the FAA. There was a lot of paperwork involved to get that flagpole up,” Barb said.

The county donated the land where the memorial sits atop Pine Mountain. The park now includes a pavilion, bathrooms, a grill and horseshoe pits.

The pavilion, built in the late 2000s using all local logs, is available for rent.

“It’s a nice place and it gets a lot of visitors,” she said. “It’s been used quite a bit, and appreciated.”

A donated bronze statue is dedicated to Navy veterans. A bronze bust, also donated, that represents the Marines was installed in September inside the pavilion. There is only one other bust like it, in Washington, D.C., Barb said.

A gas grill was donated by the Sons of the American Legion. A small building was also donated that will be used to display items related the memorial.

“Everything that’s here has been donated, either by a veteran or in the name of a veteran,” she said.

Surrounding the flagpole are 12 obelisks filled with pavers that feature the names of veterans. The pavers originally were on the ground, but Barb said they were being damaged.

New lights were installed a few years ago.

They plan to do about $6,000 worth of work on the inner workings of the flagpole. They also plan to redo the bathrooms and cement near the flagpole.

Funds to support the memorial comes from paver sales, donations and a golf tournament. The ninth-annual golf event is planned for Saturday, June 15, at Oak Crest Golf Course in Norway.

The event is limited to 30 four-person teams or 130 players. Single players will be assigned to a team. The cost is $80 per person, which includes dinner. Check-in will be from 7 to 8:45 a.m.

Former Detroit Tigers pitcher John Hiller, who lives locally, is scheduled to play in the scramble.

There will be hole-in-one and surprise hole contests, along with 50-50 and door prize drawings. Non-alcoholic beverages will be included.

The event is sponsored by Trident Maritime Systems in Kingsford.

To enter, send checks made out to U.P. Veterans Memorial to Barb Larson, 609 Kennedy Road, Iron Mountain, MI 49801. Include the number of carts needed and names and phone numbers of all participants. For more information, call Dennis Larson at 906-221-9373.

They are also seeking hole sponsors for the scramble. Businesses can pay $200 to sponsor a hole by themselves or $100 to share a sponsorship.

Donations to the memorial can be sent to U.P War Memorial, Flag Chairman, 824 Superior Ave., Kingsford, MI 49802.


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