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.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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