Michigan students raise $51K+ for veterans memorial

Sanilac County, MI (WNEM) — The words “never forget” can mean a lot to our veterans but to the students of Sandusky High School, it was a call of action.

“We have the opportunity to say thank you because of what they’ve done in the past,” said Joshua Robinson.

Robinson is one of the many students involved with the Flags Remembrance Project, an initiative started back in 2015 to restore the flags honoring Sanilac County’s veterans in front of the county courthouse.

Before the students got involved with the Flags Remembrance Project, there were only about 100 flags but now they have over 400 dedicated to veterans from Sanilac and around the country.

But their mission didn’t end there because last year the students also led a fundraising effort to renovate a Sandusky memorial for Sanilac County’s veterans.

An effort that ended up raising over $51,000 in two months thanks to sponsors and donations from those around the community.

On Saturday, June 29, that monument was put on display for everyone to see through this dedication ceremony.

Featuring a ribbon cutting, flyover, and wreath presentation by the area’s local veterans.

“To see that there’s a kind of rebirth of patriotism and a recognition of veterans’ service among our youth, it’s pretty impressive,” said Michael Peplinski, a Sanilac County resident and Air Force veteran.

Peplinski was honored to be asked by the students to speak at the ceremony.

He said this memorial isn’t just in recognition of veterans, but remembrance for all of those within Sanilac County.

“The way I see it, it is for everybody because it’s a reminder that they have a lot of family, friends, acquaintances who have served and maybe it’s time to check in on one of them,” Peplinski said.

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