A sacred place: Veterans Mall dedicated.

June 25, 2017

Metal of Honor recipient Duane Dewey of Irons looks at the bust of his comrade, William Charette.


See video here.

A sacred place: Veterans Mall dedicated. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Several hundred people gathered at Stearns Park Sunday afternoon for the dedication of the Mason County Veterans Mall. The mall features a newly created bust of Metal of Honor recipient William Charette of Ludington (see related story here) along with another new sculpture titled “Ascent of Heroism,” both by sculptor Paula Slater. It also features the war memorial that has been at the park since 1958.

The event featured two Metal of Honor recipients: Gary Lee Littrell and Duane Dewey. Littrell was a sgt. first class in the Army serving during Vietnam (see more here). Dewey, who lives in Irons and served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War (see more here).

The event also featured Peggy Ezdebski, the sister of William Charette. Peggy had the honor of unveiling the bust of her brother. She came to tears seeing the sculpture of her brother.

The concept of the mall came from an accumulation of ideas: From Free Soil resident Bob Gancarz, a veteran and former educator, who had the vision of creating a bust honoring Charette; and brothers Budde and Todd Reed, along with their parents, Dorothy and Bud (who passed away in 2016). The Reeds wanted to create a sculpture that would honor all military veterans. The two ideas meshed and the veterans mall was created, with the blessing and support of the Mason County Allied Veterans.

The mall is a sacred space and certainly does diligence in fulfilling its mission of honoring local veterans. Please take some time to visit and reflect upon those who have served and the families of those veterans.

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