The City of Chelsea gathered to recognize veterans and remember fallen heroes during the May 30 Memorial Day Ceremony on City Hall Lawn. Guest speaker, Michael Lovato, a retired United States Army veteran, shared how the military was beneficial to his life.
“I was headed down the wrong path. In my yearbook, I was voted ‘Most Likely to be on America’s Most Wanted, ’” explained Lovato, Assistant Superintendent, Chelsea Public Schools. “It wasn’t until the military that I started to find a purpose and exhibited leadership qualities. The military made me wake up and think about things differently.”
Lovato comes from a military family: his father served in the Army during the Vietnam War, his late brother was an Army veteran, another brother was a Marine, and his son is currently deployed in Africa.
“Every day to me is a blessing, and I want to thank the military and my fellow soldiers, who fight for the Constitution and our freedom. We all want to voice our opinions, and have rights and freedoms, but we don’t appreciate the people who gave us those rights,” asserted Lovato. “The most beautiful thing about our nation is our ability to challenge our government and speak freely.”
During the ceremony, there were musical performances by the Chelsea High School Band. Jomar Colon, of Chelsea High School, sang the National Anthem; and Mary C. Burke Elementary School students described the significance of their schools’ names, in honor of Chelsea soldiers who did not return home.
Councilor Leo Robinson read a selection from the book, “A Time to Honor,” about remembering Vietnam veterans who were described as the most overlooked of all those who have served, and returned home to a divided, unappreciative nation.
“We will hold sacred the rights and privileges you fought for,” declared Robinson. “We will work tirelessly to honor and thank you. It is our time to defend you.”
Councilor Calvin Brown, the son of a veteran, father of a U.S. Air Force soldier, and brother of a U.S. Navy man, blessed the occasion, reading a scripture from the book of Psalms 27: 3-4.
“Heavenly father, we pray for those who courageously gave their lives for our freedom of this United States of America. May we be examples of your love,” prayed Brown. “Thank you for the sacrifices made so we may live in unity. We thank you for this nation and for the determination of our government to fight for peace.”