Two Muskegon ceremonies – one virtual and the other in person – will commemorate America’s armed forces contribution on Veterans Day on Wednesday, Nov. 11. The Veterans Day activities are planned by committees comprised of Muskegon Community College and local veterans organizations.
Causeway Veterans Memorial Park
The traditional ceremony will be held outdoors at the Causeway Veterans Memorial Park beginning at 11 a.m. Those attending are asked to wear masks and to social distance. The ceremony will be held at the south end of the park near the former Cobb Plant entrance.
The guest speaker will be Wes O’Donnell, a U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force veteran and a journalist whose work has appeared in several military publications. The posting of the colors and a 21-gun rifle salute will be conducted by an honor guard from the VFW, the American Legion and the Marine Corps League. Flo Predko will sing the National Anthem. The Colonial Dames and the Daughters of the American Revolution will present wreaths.
Muskegon Community College Video Tribute
With in-person classes greatly reduced this semester in response to the coronavirus, MCC is replacing its afternoon Veterans Day ceremony on campus with an online video tribute that will be posted online beginning at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11.
The Veterans Day video will remain on MCC’s website and can be viewed at www.muskegoncc.edu/veterans, as well as, on MCC’s social media – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – accounts.
In the video, U.S. Army veteran Jerry Conrad serves as the emcee. The video tribute features the raising and lower of the colors, as well as a 21-gun salute, by the local American Legion Post #9, Marine Corps League Detachment #703, and the VFW County Council. MCC student CeeJae Johnson performs Taps, while Dr. Dennis Cobler offers brief remarks.
A native of North Dakota, Cobler served as a U.S. Army Captain from 1966-69. He was stationed in Vietnam in 1967-68 with the 12 Evac. Hospital supporting the 25th Infantry Division. After his service, he moved to Muskegon where he practiced optometry for 49 years with a specialty in low vision care.
Cobler has participated in providing eye care on 30 vision missions in 12 countries as well as Habitat for Humanity builds in three countries. He has received the Governor of Michigan Special Tribute from Gov. James Blanchard and the Michigan Volunteer Award from Gov. John Engler.
He became involved with service clubs, joining the Jaycees – later the Exchange Club – and the Muskegon Northside Lions Club. He served the Lions as a District Governor and as a member of the International Lions Clubs Board of Directors in 1998-2000. He was inducted into the Michigan Lions Clubs Hall of Fame.
Cobler is a life member of both the Michigan and American Optometric Association, the Lions Clubs International, the Vietnam Veterans of America and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is a member of VVA Chapter 31 and of VFW Post 8846, where he serves on both the Post and County Council Honor Guard. He and his family attend First Evangelical Lutheran Church.