November 11, 2010
When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?
Today and this weekend there will be ceremonies and parades honoring those who have fallen in defense of our nation. Here’s a listing of Michigan Veteran’s Day events and our Veterans Day post on Absolute Michigan has some great interview with Michigan veterans.
See it bigger in Andy’s slideshow.
November 11, 2008
Today is Veterans Day and I hope everyone gets a chance to to take some time to remember those who have served and are serving our nation.
I’m pretty sure this photo is from the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan. The Holly cemetery is the second national cemetery in Michigan. Michigan’s other national cemetery is the Fort Custer National Cemetery.
Michigan Veterans and Veterans Day on Absolute Michigan has a lot of good information and resources and you can get some good photos & articles about veterans on Michigan in Pictures.
July 4, 2012
My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.
~Adlai Stevenson, speech in Detroit, 1952
The safety to be unpopular is a freedom we don’t always think of, but something we might well consider. It strikes me that in our relentless drive to get everyone on the same page, we’re not able to get anything done. There is a lot to be done and a lot of places we can find common ground to make our schools and communities better and protect the natural resources that make Michigan the place we love.
If it’s total agreement you’re looking for, that’s probably fascism. Democracy is messy.
Speaking of messy, you’ve no doubt noticed bigger booms over the last few days, That’s due to a new law in Michigan that allows the purchase of any federally allowed firework. The messy democratic process is already at work:
City officials across Michigan have scrambled in recent weeks to try to stymie the party in the sky — limiting when residents can set off fireworks in light of a change in state law that allows a more powerful category of explosives to be sold and used in the state.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts blasted the state law, saying “pyromaniacs” are terrorizing the community, scaring children, pets, seniors and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder with the louder explosions caused by the more powerful fireworks.
“The state has legalized these ‘consumer fireworks’ and people are going gung ho,” Fouts said. “People, who were hesitant to do illegal fireworks now are empowered.”
State legislators approved the looser fireworks legislation, which went into effect in January, to keep residents from taking their money to other states to purchase fireworks not available here. The new law forces communities to allow the fireworks on the day before, the day of and the day after federal holidays, such as the Fourth of July.
Warren, Grand Rapids, Ferndale, Novi, Birmingham, Royal Oak and other cities across Michigan are already creating ordinances to ban these fireworks during other times of the year.
Here’s hoping you have an explosively fun and very safe Fourth of July! Here’s many more Fourth of July photos from Michigan in Pictures!
December 16, 2011
The Iraq War began on March 20, 2003 and was formally ended yesterday, December 15, 2011. At 8 years, 9 months it was longer than Vietnam, longer than World War II. This Detroit Free Press article on the costs of the war in Iraq says they include 4,487 dead and 32,226 wounded Americans and over 100,000 Iraqi dead. Michigan’s contribution was at least 159 dead and 1,000 wounded, according to Pentagon records. Military Times has the number at 216, and you can see the list of Michiganders who gave their lives in the Iraq War.
Retired Marine and Iraq vet Steve Maddox says that veteran’s challenges are just beginning and cannot be answered by yellow ribbons or catchy sloganeering. In addition to combat injuries and frightening suicide rates he writes:
I see post-Iraq War challenges that are as big, if not bigger than those we faced as a nation for the past eight years. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans face higher unemployment rates than their contemporaries. In Michigan, with an overall unemployment rate hovering around 10%, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans’ unemployment rate is over 29%, by far the highest in the country.
One of the articles I read noted that we’re not leaving Iraq in very good shape. The Iraqi Hope Foundation was founded by Michigan Tech alum and Iraq veteran Major Don Makay. The foundation seeks to honor the sacrifices of veterans by building stability and prosperity of Iraq through investment in small and mid-level businesses. Read more about it right here.
About this photo, the National Guard says:
U.S. Army Sgt. Thomas Loyd, assigned to Foxtrot Company, 425th Infantry (Long Range Surveillance), Michigan National Guard, based in Selfridge, Mich., holds hands with an Iraqi child in Sununi, Iraq, Oct. 29, 2009. Loyd was standing outside the mayor’s office while a meeting was taking place when the child attached himself to Loyd and would not let go. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Carmichael Yepez/Released)
November 11, 2011
In addition to being Veteran’s Day, today we roll the calendrical odometer to the 11s.
11/11/11 is causing all manner of fun across the globe – they’re closing the pyramids in Egypt, hoping for good luck and getting married in the East and even playing a basketball game aboard an aircraft carrier (MSU meets North Carolina in the Carrier Classic tonight at 7 PM).
Today at 11:11:11, the time and date will be a perfect same-numbered palindrome, reading the same backwards as forwards, an event which can only happen on one day every 100 years. Read on for more. They note that:
The reason we ascribe significance to 11.11.11 is apophenia – the urge to find patterns in seemingly random data. It is this that explains why we see clouds forming certain shapes, and why we often hear of people finding ‘faces’ in things like potato crisps.
Here’s hoping you have luck & happiness today and faces in your potato chips. ;)
May 30, 2011
February 15, 2011
I saw a photo of the Joe this morning that made me wonder about the history of the Joe Louis Arena, home of the 11 time Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings. Wikipedia’s entry on the Joe Louis Arena says that “The Joe” was:
Completed in 1979 at a cost of $57 million, Joe Louis Arena is named after boxer and former heavyweight champion Joe Louis, who grew up in Detroit. This makes it one of three remaining NHL arenas without a corporate sponsorship name (the others being Madison Square Garden in New York City and Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island). It is also the fourth oldest venue in the NHL.
…The Detroit Red Wings played their first game at Joe Louis Arena on December 27, 1979. Later that first season it hosted the 32nd NHL All-Star Game on February 5, 1980, which was played before a then-NHL record crowd of 21,002.
January 17, 2011
I have a dream this afternoon that my four little children, that my four little children will not come up in the same young days that I came up within, but they will be judged on the basis of the content of their character, not the color of their skin.
I have a dream this afternoon that one day right here in Detroit, Negroes will be able to buy a house or rent a house anywhere that their money will carry them and they will be able to get a job.
~Martin Luther King, June 23, 1963 Detroit, Michigan
The quotation above comes not from Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous speech, but rather from the massive March to Freedom that happened 2 months earlier in Detroit. You can read the full text at mlkonline.com or it that’s overloaded still, view the cached version. A few years ago on Absolute Michigan, we featured an article on the Walk to Freedom:
On June 23, 1963, an estimated 125,000 people marched down Detroit’s Woodward Avenue carrying placards and singing “We Shall Overcome.” National and state leaders who marched along with Reverend King included United Auto Workers president Walter Reuther, former Michigan governor John B. Swainson, and Detroit mayor Jerome Cavanagh.
The march ended at Cobo Hall where the Reverend King was cheered by thousands of marchers when he emphasized that segregation needed to end. A veteran of the struggle to end racial segregation, King believed that it was the duty of African Americans to take part in demonstrations like the Walk to Freedom, which he called, “one of the most wonderful things that has happened in America.”
April 14, 2010
NOTE: This event has been CANCELLED!
Grand Rapids, 1915, photo by Kenneth Spencer
Grand Rapids cruise director Rob Bliss has launched the latest in a series of events, the Grand Rapids Founding Day Parade (view poster). The first annual of this event happens May 1, 2010 and he writes:
May 1st will be the 160th Anniversary of the Founding of Grand Rapids, and to mark that day I am putting on a large scale parade and celebration. Floats, marching bands, and retro cars will all be involved in making this day great.
$5,000 Float Competition: $5,000 will be given away to the best float, decided by a public vote. Anyone can enter a float and be in the parade and possibly win this prize, and there is no entry fee. All floats must have some connection to the greater Grand Rapids area (includes lowell, caledonia, etc.) but are very open ended. A local band playing local music on a float stage would apply! Dance party on the blue pedestrian bridge as a float would work. Whatever idea you have will most likely work.
…This parade is decided by a public vote, with paper voting taking place at the end of the parade, near the Grand Rapids Library and Veterans Memorial. Mayor Heartwell will be speaking to the crowd following the event.
This exciting new community event works to celebrate and to continue to push our city forward. Very few citizens know when their hometown was founded; come downtown and help celebrate our community.
This photo from the Library of Congress is available as a stunning panorama which I hope you get a chance to see. You may also want to explore the photographic history of Grand Rapids through the photographs from the Grand Rapids Historical Commission’s online archive!
September 19, 2008
Anthony Lockhart writes:
This monumental sculptural relief (twenty-eight feet tall) by Marshall Fredericks is on the north wall of what was the Veterans Memorial Building. It symbolizes both sacrifice and victory. The building is now the UAW-Ford National Programs Center. It was designed by the firm of Harley, Ellington and Day and dedicated in 1951.
Editor’s note: I’m always surprised when I find that I’ve never featured a photo from a photographer whose work I follow closely. This is one of those times – if you’re looking for architectural photographs of Detroit and the surrounding area with informed commentary … look no further.