A feeling of patriotic dedication was clear at the Sister Bay Memorial Day ceremonies on Monday morning. For an astonishing 75th consecutive year, Dale Sequist played taps, honoring veterans in Door County and across the country for their service.
There was a sense of community as audience members joined in the Pledge of Allegiance led by Boy Scout members, or sang along with Dave Gunderson to “God Bless America.” Audience members and guest speakers alike shared a sense of gratitude for the freedom and liberty that veterans have fought for.
Typically at the Little Sister Cemetery, this year’s ceremony moved to the Skyway Drive-In Theater due to Covid-19 restrictions. Attendees could either stay in their cars, or bring lawn chairs closer to the ceremony site.
Community youth contributed to the ceremonies too: the Gibraltar Band under direction of Veteran Charles Eckhardt opened ceremonies with the National Anthem. The band later played a salute to the military branches, featuring a medley of excerpts from each branch’s song. Eckhart invited veterans to stand during each of their respective songs.
Veteran and Chief Deputy Patrick McCarty gave a speech as guest speaker, sharing some memorable stories of days in the army. His stories spanned from the Civil War to the Vietnam war, or days during his own training regiments. McCarty spoke of moments of humor, as well as instances of ultimate sacrifice.
Vice Commander Tom Kowalski shared a veterans poem that featured a soldier living alone on Christmas Day. Despite the holiday topic, the poem highlighted the relevant themes of honor and sacrifice.
Since the 2020 ceremonies for Memorial Day were canceled due to Covid-19, Veteran Don Sitte recited names of deceased veterans from both 2020 and 2021. A moment of reflection was observed for both lists of names.
Watch a roundup of the Memorial Day Weekend festivities: