UP War Memorial needs your help

The Upper Peninsula War Memorial and Veterans Park on top of Pine Mountain is a work of beauty and splendor.

It is magnificent in its appearance and significance. It is a memorial to all veterans from the Upper Peninsula and our neighboring communities in Wisconsin, honoring all who served in the military during all wars and conflicts and also honoring any personnel who are active military or active reserve.

For a little more than a decade, volunteers led by Dennis Larson, Jerry Hicks, Dick Corrigan and Robert Massicotte have been grooming, repairing and developing the area. Dale and Carol Larson take care of ordering the pavers and have set up a map with the layout of all pavers to more easily find them.

As impressive as it is, new additions and improvements are in progress, including making room for 3,900 more pavers and adding better lighting. These are much needed, as the memorial already is 11 years old.

Along with asking for donations to help with maintaining and improving the area, we have a problem. The cable that is an intentional halyard on the 80-foot flag pole is broken and at this time we are not sure if it is an easy or difficult repair or how expensive it will be. Memorial Day will be here soon and this needs to be fixed by then.

We are sending letters to all veterans service organizations in the Upper Peninsula and neighboring Wisconsin, along with some businesses and individuals, asking for their help.

Any veteran, active military or active reserve should consider purchasing a paver.

Additionally, area residents should show their pride in this memorial by offering a donation to the organizers.

Maybe a family member could purchase a paver for you as a birthday, Christmas, Fathers’ Day or Mothers’ Day gift. This is another way of supporting the cost of this expansion and maintaining the Memorial and Veterans Park.

The pavers are $65 each and can be purchased by contacting Carol Larson at 906-774-0142 or Bob Massicotte at 906-828-2692. Applications for pavers also are available at the American Legion Post 50 after 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Besides the improvements and maintenance, another major expense for the memorial are the flags that are flown on the 80-foot pole. With the weather we experience here in the U.P., and being on that mountain, it is expensive replacing those flags.

We are asking for your help in that area as well. Maybe your organization, business or you as an individual would like to sponsor a flag.

Right now, we are in need of a 30-by-50-foot garrison flag that is flown only on special holidays. We’re not sure what the cost is for one of those. The flag that is flown from May through November, depending on the weather, is 20-by-30 feet and those flags cost about $540. These flags are not cheap; however, their visual impact is stunning.

If anyone may be interested in making a donation for the memorial expansion or the flag fund, they are tax-deductible, as we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Receipts are available to anyone who requests one.

For anyone interested as a family donation, bequeathments are accepted as well.

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