Petoskey High School Baseball Team Honors Veterans Before Memorial Day

With 1,600 flags, the Emmet County Department of Veteran Affairs, along with the Petoskey High School baseball team, took some time on Monday to honor veterans at Greenwood Cemetery.

They walked through the 100 acre property, placing those flags on the graves of the fallen and stopped to read their stories.

“Veterans earn the respect to have their stories read and be known by people,” said Grant Klepadlo, center field for the baseball team. “So, I was looking around taking my time, not trying to rush this thing. This is something you want to take your time with because you don’t want to miss anyone.”

“It’s good to see the young people out here honoring those who have fallen and those who have served their country,” said Jeff Urban, Assistant Director of the Emmet County Department of Veteran Affairs. “It’s a good tradition to keep going.”

Director of the Department of Veteran Affairs, Rick Wiertalla, said Memorial Day has started to focus too much on deals for businesses and not those who served the country.

“It’s good to see the community keep coming forward and helping to identify the importance of this day,” said Wiertalla. “It’s not just about getting sales, it’s about the day of the veterans that gave the ultimate sacrifice.”

The department also helped plant flags in other cemeteries in the area. They’re hopeful people will show their appreciation for their fellow military members and the sacrifices they’ve made.