Legionnaires of Charles A. Conklin American Legion Post 28 in Grand Haven, Mich., didn’t just speak the language of the Four Pillars in celebrating this year’s Veterans Day - they aligned with Spring Lake (Mich.) Public Schools to educate children on respect for - and proper folding of – the United States flag, along with hosting two events:
Post 28’s annual Veterans Day dinner and Veterans Day ceremony in Grand Haven was held on November 8, 2019. Post 28 Commander Janet E. Fonger and her husband, Service Officer, Hoyt Fonger, began the day at Spring Lake High School speaking with students about their experiences in the military and pride in having served their country. Then the two joined Post 28 Legionnaires - including 1st Vice Commander Gary Doublestein and 2nd Vice Commander Rick White – at Spring Lake Middle School to instruct students on proper folding of the U.S. flag and meaning of the “13 folds.” Two students joined past Post 28 Commanders David “Mack” MacKellar and Garrett Veihl on stage to assist with the flag-folding demonstration, while Post 28 Finance Officer Cyndy Neil-Wierenga explained the meaning of each of the 13 folds. After the Middle School presentation, officers and Legionnaires of Post 28 visited Holmes Elementary School, where students asked questions about their military experiences. On November 9, Post 28 treated veterans to a complimentary prime rib dinner during the post’s annual Veterans Day dinner. the honorary guest speaker was David M. Pequet, a U.S. Navy veteran and nephew of late legendary Apollo I astronaut Roger B. Chaffee. Life memberships were awarded to past Post 28 Commanders Chris Jarvis and Ed Hekman, Carl Lori and Post 28 Chaplain Duane Smith. A highlight of the Veterans Day dinner included Post 28 Auxiliary member Kathy Straatsman presenting 17 “Quilts of Honor” to veterans including Pequet. Post 28 concluded their Veterans Day activities on November 11 with a ceremony at the Eternal Flame Monument in downtown Grand Haven. A reception was held at Post 28 after the ceremony.