Honoring Michigan’s First Veterans
- Wednesday, May 31
3:00pm - 4:30pm
Civil War expert, Al McGeehan
More than 155 years ago as America rushed headlong into armed conflict, 90,000 Michiganders came forward to support President Lincoln’s call to defend our Union. These Michigan soldiers became our state’s first military veterans who are among those whom we honor on Veteran’s Day. Almost 15,000 Michigan men and boys died to defend our nation against armed rebellion. After one early battle and referring to the heroism of one particular regiment from our state Lincoln publicly spoke the now well- known line, “thank God for Michigan”. America’s first Memorial Day, then called Decoration Day was organized to pay tribute to the many who gave their lives to defend our flag.
Join us as through the spoken word and numerous original artifacts we return to those tumultuous days of 1861 through 1865 when America’s Civil War touched every household from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the Indiana line and from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron.
Our presenter, Al McGeehan is a graduate of Hope College and a retired teacher of American History at Holland High School. He served on the Holland City Council for 32 years the final 16 of which he was the Mayor of the City of Holland. Al has authored a book and numerous magazine articles on the American Civil War. For forty years he has brought his story and collection to eager adult and senior groups across our state and beyond.
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