2010.06.03 Jim Topps: Memorial Day

Written by David Green.

Wow! When my wife, Debbie, and I drove into Morenci on Memorial Day we were surprised with the wonderful flag display on West Main Street. We had been reading in the State Line Observer about the Kiwanis Flag program.  As we continued our small tour of the city we saw flags all over town! What a great idea. It looked so nice to see so many flying Old Glory! 

It was an honor for me to be the guest speaker at the Morenci Memorial Day ceremonies for 2010. I have never felt prouder to ride down Main Street with some of Morenci war heroes to honor our fallen heroes. To see the crowd of adults and children out on Main Street was so nice, as was the Morenci Fire Department members and trucks lined up to honor our fallen heroes, the parade set up by my Legion mentor Jack Sampson and the members of my Morenci American Legion Post, the Color Guard with our own Navy Master Chief Steve as our Officer of The Day.

When we turned onto North Street there were more citizens out watching the parade go by! As I looked through the crowd I saw many of the young folks that I watched grow up here in Morenci that now have their own grandchildren with them watching everyone go by. It was a great feeling to be a part of the parade.

When I was introduced today I felt very proud to have been able to raise my family and live in Morenci for 34 years. Now I see the many changes that have came to the community and see the young people graduate and move onto their own lives.

Thank you, Morenci, for giving me the opportunity to be a small part of your Memorial Day 2010.

– James C. Topps, Director

American Legion Department of Michigan, VA&R Division

  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
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    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
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    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
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    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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