When wartime has demanded the nation’s youth join the armed forces, Charlevoix County sent their men to fight, and this Memorial Day we honor all who died during battle and gave their lives for our rights.
Boyne City will pay homage to the soldiers who were killed during battles in all wars this Memorial Day in traditional manner.
Boyne City will start the day at 7 a.m. with the Boyne City Booster Foundation’s Memorial Day Breakfast at Boyne City High School.
At noon, in Boyne City’s Veterans Park, the national colors along with the POW and MIA flags will be raised while the Boyne City High School band plays the national anthem as Gaeyle Gerri-Boss sings.
According to the Boyne City VFW, American Legion and the Boyne City Area Veterans Memorial Committee—who are hosting the day’s events—all veterans are invited to salute the flags with their colors, and non-vets are invited to honor veterans and those who were killed in action by placing a hand over their heart.
Paying tribute to local soldiers who fought and died during battle in World War I, the following will be recognized: Leslie T. Shapton of Marion township, Dean Scroggie of Charlevoix, James Raby (originally from Canada), among other countless soldiers who have served in the military.
In honor of Memorial Day, Charlevoix County Commissioner and author George T. Lasater provided information from his book “Charlevoix County’s Contribution to World War I” to highlight just a few of the soldiers from the area to have fought and died for their country.
Leslie T Shapton of Marion township, only son to Mr. And Mrs. Ed Shapton, graduated with Charlevoix High School’s class of 1916.
Shapton attended college at the University of Ann Arbor the following year, and left college for Detroit January 15, 1918 to enlist in the army.
At 21, Shapton died in battle, cause of death unknown.
In a letter sent home to Shapton’s parents it was explained that Leslie went missing July 21, 1918.
The local paper ran a letter that Shapton wrote while away at war, adressed to Perry Mason—it was postmarked June 28, 1918 and described his first encounter in the trenches fighting the Germans.
“This I entered the trenches and heard the first shells explode,” the letter stated. “We were divided up among the 5th and 6th marines the next morning, and put in the front line and in the afternoon I was under my first shell fire.”
Shapton described his first encounters with close combat and even an inhumane first-hand discovery of men with no option but to fight.
“It was found in a couple of places that they had their men chained to the guns—so that they had to fight—and to those we showed a little mercy and took them prisoners.”
Shapton ended the letter with expectations of returning to the U.S. to tell Perry more about his experiences, an expectation that sadly could not be held.
He closed his letter by writing, “Must close now and get some work done. Will tell you more about it when we marines get back to the old U.S., after parading the streets of Berlin.”
Another fallen warrior was Dean Scroggie of Charlevoix.
He graduated from Charlevoix High School as well, and attended University of Michigan as a medical student.
Enlisting in June of 1917, Scroggie joined the ambulance corps and in august of 1917 he was transferred to the west front in France.
Scroggie was given a commission as First Lieutenant with the 28th infantry on Oct. 5, and four days later died of a wound he received during the battle.
There was a write-up in Charlevoix’s paper at the time—a letter Lieutenant Scroggie sent home—describing the minimal clothes they had to wear, and asking for catsup and chili sauce.
And then there was James Raby.
Mrs. James Raby of “this city” (according to the news article) was the wife of James Raby who moved to the Northern Michigan area, but was still a legal citizen of Canada.
Raby joined the Canadian Militia offering his services when he realized they were in need of them.
He was 28 when he was killed in action. James Raby was a mechanical engineer and was supposed to be doing construction on bridges at the time he received the wounds that led to his death.
At the time of death, Raby left behind his own family which included a wife and 3-year-old child.
FULL LIST OF MEMORIAL DAY
SERVICES IN BOYNE AREA
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8 a.m. – Memorial Park in Boyne Falls
8:25 a.m. – Memorial Park, Walloon Lake
8:50 a.m. – Evangeline Cemetery
9:15 a.m. – Dyer Cemetery
9:40 a.m. – Lost at Sea, waterfront at Veterans Memorial Park
10:10 a.m. – Advance Cemetery
10:35 a.m. – Wilson Cemetery
10:45 a.m. – Maple Lawn Cemetery
11:45 a.m. – Procession leaves American Legion Post north on Lake Street to Veterans Memorial Park
Noon – Veterans Memorial Park services