On Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010 at 4:30 PM, Saginaw City officials and distinguished guests assembled in the Kiwanis Veteran’s Park for a celebration to honor the men and women of the military, and hear from several of Saginaw’s own veterans.
Debbie Muelker of the Saginaw Kiwanis Club had the honor of introducing the guests and J. R. Belcher from Lighthouse Fellowship Church provided the invokation. The Saginaw Fire Department color guard presented the colors followed by Vicki Snaderson singing the National Anthem and Bert Weems, U.S. Army, leading the pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Gary Brinkley placed a wreath beside the memorial and followed with a short speech. “It’s been my pleasure to know several veterans in my life,” said Mayor Brinkley. “One of my favorite was a guy named Bob Crabtree. Mr. Crabtree suffered a grenade from a Japanese soldier and had 46 pieces of shrapnel in his back. So they rolled him off the front lines and he said ‘It cost me a week” and I said what do you mean, it cost you a week? He said ‘Well I was back in the back of the lines for a week until they could doctor me up. The doctor said I can’t cut ’em all out son, there’s just too much damage. They went in so hot it seared the meat so don’t worry about it, you’re gonna be okay.’ Which shocked me to death, I couldn’t believe that would be an acceptable answer. But Bob said ‘It cost me a week but in a week I was back on the front lines with my guys. I said What was the hurry and he said they were up there fighting and I needed to be up there with ’em.’ It was a phenomenal honor to meet him…. Bob Crabtree was a great man and we’re sitting around other great men and women here today. I encourage you children to get to know a veteran, whether it’s a family member or someone else. Veterans can tell you what it’s like to go without. Not enough of us in this world know what it’s like to go without for someone else; our veterans do it on a daily basis. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate each and everyone who’s served, whether it’s in combat or non-combat, your self-sacrifice and that of your families is greatly appreciated. So please accept this humble ceremony as a token of our appreciation. Thank you.”
Following Mayor Brinkley’s speech, Lance Corporal Josh Daughtery – U.S. Marines – took the podium and talked about his tour of duty in Iraq, and the book of poetry he wrote while there.
Ana Arriola and Justin Corral from Saginaw High school played a duet and closed out the ceremony with taps on their trumpets.