Kalamazoo Gazette Feature


By Rob Wetterholt Jr.

KALAMAZOO, MI – When Sharon Robbins would drive by Riverside Cemetery and its dilapidated memorial to our nation’s veterans, she grew increasingly dismayed.

“I drive by it every day,” Robbins said. “It always bugged me. Nobody kept it up. People don’t even know that it was there.”

Crumbling stonework, overgrown vegetation, theft and age have taken their toll on the multi-level memorial, visible from Gull Road.

The Westwood Garden Club has seen enough, and is spearheading a planned $100,000 overhaul of the memorial, with the help of numerous Kalamazoo-area businesses.

“We got Sharon’s crabbiness all the time about how bad it looked,” club member Lorie Reed said with a laugh. “The idea to rehab the site began three years ago.”

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    • Kelly Blaisdell on:
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      I'm fortunate to still have my 85 yr old Uncle Jim Blaisdell with me. What an awesome way to honor him and let him know how proud I am of him. This is such a worthwhile project!! I've been trying to convince him to participate in the Talons Out Honor Flight to DC, but being in the WWII Air Borne, he said he is not used to "landing" in a plane. God Bless our Vets !!
    • Lowell Reynolds on:
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      Thank you for doing this. My Uncle Merle is buried at the cemetery along with his parents. I was only 6 months old when he was killed in Korea. Not sure when he joined the Army. My Father & his brother, my Uncle Floyd, both served in the Navy during WWII. They to have both passed away. This will be nice to honor them, and to reunited them together as brothers in arms.
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