Memorial project

The Traverse City local group of the Michigan’s Vietnam Helicopter Pilot Association (VHPA) chapter recently initiated a project to revitalize our Traverse City Vietnam Memorial site, which is located at the intersection of East Front Street and Grandview Parkway.

This spring, local Vietnam helicopter pilots requested Mr. Derek Melville, superintendent of the Traverse City Department of Parks and Recreation, help with the project. This week, thanks to the help of Derek and his fantastic employees, the project was completed.

The Parks and Recreation team cut down and removed all of the old bushes. Then they manually dug out and removed both the roots and soil down to 8-inch depth. (Analysis of the soil revealed that it had a very high pH level).

The department then provided new topsoil for the site so that new plantings have a chance to thrive. On June 4, Derek and his people showed up with 15 flats of flowers. Then men from Traverse City’s U.S. Coast Guard showed up and helped with the planting and the project was completed!! Thank you all for your outstanding help. We salute you.

Ed Canright

VHPA member

Traverse City

Service in time of crisis

We pause on Memorial and D-Day to honor those who gave their lives in service to America. Today, our service men and women face different perils, no less daunting. To express our ongoing support, we should take a hard look at the global forces that have caused unnecessary casualties and continue to put our troops at greater risk.

Here are just a few concerns:

n Climate change impacts like drought, flood and famine lead to conflict, humanitarian crises and mass migration. This adds to the burden of the U.S. military to respond in fragile regions of the world.

n Transporting and protecting fuel convoys to remote military operations in the Middle East is costly and has contributed to a substantial percentage of U.S. casualties.

n Climate change will increase the need for the U.S. military response to natural disasters.

n Rising temperatures and sea levels threatens infrastructure and training operations at U.S. military bases around the world.

Implementing policy that will move us from fossil fuel to clean energy sources that can be accessed locally will carry a triple benefit. By using American ingenuity we can protect our troops, create civilian and military jobs, and restore our planet for future generations.

Cathye Williams