‘We fought for liberty:’ Michigan WWII vets welcome memorial

Apr 7, 2022, 3:26 AM | Updated: 3:06 pm
Original Rosie the Riveters from left, Frances Masters, Helen Kushnir and Clara Doutly are seen dur...

Original Rosie the Riveters from left, Frances Masters, Helen Kushnir and Clara Doutly are seen during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Michigan state World War II memorial, Thursday, April 7, 2022, in Royal Oak, Mich. The memorial will eventually includes the laying of more than 1,200 donated Walk of Honor paver bricks, a Wall of Stars honoring the 15,000-plus Michigan lives lost during World War II and additional statues, including one dedicated to Rosie the Riveter. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — Officials in Michigan are getting started on the construction of what they say is one of the few state-specific World War II memorials in the country.

Art Fishman is excited that the project is taking another step toward reality.

The Oak Park resident, who sailed on a Navy destroyer in the Pacific theater as an 18-year-old, was among more than a dozen World War II veterans on hand Thursday afternoon when ground was broken for The Michigan WWII Legacy Memorial.

“It’s more important than people think. Why? Because, if it’s handled right, it will teach the next generation what the war was about, why we were there, what did we fight for. We fought for liberty,” said Fishman, 95, who sailed aboard the USS Robinson in 1945 during its stops in the Philippines, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and China.

The groundbreaking is for the first phase of the memorial, which includes the laying of more than 1,200 donated Walk of Honor paver bricks and the installation of both a statue called “Joe,” which depicts a soldier in a foxhole reading a letter from home, and flagpoles representing all military branches.

Future phases are to feature a Wall of Stars honoring the 15,000-plus Michigan lives lost during World War II; additional statues, including one dedicated to Rosie the Riveter; an amphitheater and a colonnade of pillars.

The memorial, which is recognized by the Legislature as the state’s tribute to the war, is to be built in Memorial Park in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak.

Members of the committee that is overseeing the project said the U.S. does not have many state-specific World War II memorials, but some do, including New York and Washington, among others.

“Michigan had such a significant impact on the war front, with brave men and women fighting against tyranny, and also at the homefront with the Arsenal of Democracy and other contributions across the state,” said John Maten, president of The Michigan WWII Legacy Memorial.

Ethel “Cricket” Poland, 102, is one of those who served an important role on the homefront, as a code-breaker with the Navy.

Poland, who has lived in Michigan since the 1960s, served for three years in Washington, D.C., as part of the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) program.

“Although my part in the war was very small, I feel that it was worthwhile,” Poland said.

More than a dozen veterans organizations were present at Thursday’s event, including members of the American Legion, Tuskegee Airmen, Disabled American Veterans and Michigan Jewish War Veterans. A few original Rosie the Riveters also attended.

Fishman spoke on behalf of the assembled World War II veterans.

“Maybe that was the reason I’ve lived this long is I could see something I felt so sincere about that should happen,” he said. “So that everybody else could see what the great generation really was.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Amtrak train collides with dump truck, derails in Missouri

MENDON, Mo. (AP) — A passenger train traveling from to Chicago to Los Angeles derailed in Missouri on Monday afternoon and initial reports are that some people aboard were injured, Amtrak said. The Southwest Chief was carrying about 243 passengers when it collided with a dump truck in Mendon at 1:42 p.m., Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

MSNBC appoints Alex Wagner as 4-night prime-time anchor

NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC on Monday solidified its prime-time lineup by appointing Alex Wagner to fill Rachel Maddow’s time slot four nights a week, Tuesday through Friday. Wagner, who has worked at CBS News, as a co-host of Showtime’s “The Circus” and as an editor at The Atlantic, is on her second stint at […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

Closing prices for crude oil, gold and other commodities

Benchmark U.S. crude oil for August delivery rose $1.95 to $109.57 a barrel Monday. Brent crude for August delivery rose $1.97 to $115.09 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline for July delivery fell 4 cents to $3.84 a gallon. July heating oil fell 13 cents to $4.23 a gallon. July natural gas rose 28 cents to $6.50 […]
14 hours ago
Grey clouds cover the sky over a building of the Credit Suisse bank in Zurich, Switzerland, Feb. 21...
Associated Press

Credit Suisse fined for facilitating cocaine cash laundering

ZURICH (AP) — A Swiss court on Monday said it has fined Credit Suisse more than $2 million for failing to prevent money laundering linked to a Bulgarian criminal organization a decade-and-a-half ago. The court also ordered the confiscation of the equivalent of more than $12 million worth of deposits linked to the criminal group […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

Feds seize websites after probe of pirated Latin music

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Federal authorities have seized six websites that prosecutors say were illegally distributing copyrighted music to millions of users. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced the seizures Monday of the websites that primarily targeted Latin music. According to an affidavit, agents began investigating the websites in April […]
14 hours ago
FILE - The North Lawn of the White House is seen from a newly reopened section of Pennsylvania Aven...
Associated Press

White House to resume its full tour schedule next month

WASHINGTON (AP) — Public tours of the White House will return to a full operating schedule next month, after nearly a year and a half of disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Free tours of the executive mansion were suspended when President Joe Biden took office, as officials tightened virus protocols in line with guidance […]
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
‘We fought for liberty:’ Michigan WWII vets welcome memorial