Muskegon area residents will have two opportunities to commemorate America’s armed forces contributions during Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 11. Both ceremonies, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, are free and open to the public.
Causeway Veterans Memorial Park
The first ceremony will be held outdoors at 11 a.m. at the Causeway Veterans Memorial Park. The guest speaker will be Chief Judge Raymond J. Kostrzewa, who has also presided over the Muskegon County Veteran’s Treatment Court since 2014, will be the keynote speaker.
A native of the Saginaw, MI area, he is the grandson of Polish and Irish immigrants. Kostrzewa graduated from Michigan State University in 1987 and the University of Detroit’s School of Law in 1991. After working briefly for a Detroit-area law firm, he joined the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office in 1992. He was appointed chief trial attorney in 2013.In September 2014, Kostrzewa was appointed to the 60th District Court bench and in January 2016 was appointed as its chief judge by the Michigan Supreme Court.
The event includes patriotic music by the Reeths-Puffer Middle School band, under the direction of Rich Erne. The posting of the colors will be done by the American Legion Post 297 of Ravenna, MI. A 21-gun rifle salute will be conducted by American Legion Post 9 of Muskegon. The Colonial Dames and the Daughters of the American Revolution will present wreaths.
Muskegon Community College
The second event begins at 2 p.m. in Muskegon Community College’s Bartels-Rode Gymnasium with reflections, tributes and performances of patriotic music and military branch anthems.
MCC Vice President for Student Services and Administration John Selmon will offer welcoming remarks and U.S. Army veteran Jerry Conrad, an MCC adjunct instructor and local businessman, will serve as the emcee. Bob Hall of American Legion Post 9 will deliver the invocation.
The Shoreline Barbershop Chorus will sing the National Anthem. The MCC Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Daniel M. Meyers, will perform “America the Beautiful” and other patriotic songs.
The featured speakers are:
- Nancy Frye, a U.S. Air Force veteran and the MCC Board of Trustees secretary, who will introduce the United Way-sponsored National Veteran Corps honorees.
- Christian Zwit, a U.S. Navy veteran, who is currently pursuing an associate’s degree at MCC.
- Chief Judge Raymond J. Kostrzewa, who has also presided over the Muskegon County Veteran’s Treatment Court since 2014, will deliver the keynote address.
The MCC Jaywalkers, under the direction of Thomas Clark, and the Wind Ensemble will perform the respective military branch anthems. SSgt. Steve Allen will speak briefly about the history of the military branches. A rifle squad from American Legion Posts 9 and 297 will provide a 21-gun salute to honor America’s fallen heroes. MCC student Jack Harrison will play Taps and the Muskegon County Council of Veterans of Foreign Wars will retire the colors. The Shoreline Barbershop Chorus will perform “God Bless America.”
Refreshments will be served in the gymnasium following the event. For more information, call the MCC Student Life Office at (231) 777-0216.