A story of union members volunteering in their community comes out of Michigan, where a once beautiful Veterans’ park in dire need of some care was recently restored by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 275 from Muskegon:
A spacious expanse of land once called “Michigan’s Most Beautiful Mile” cradles a special enclave known as Veteran’s Memorial Park in the mid-western part of the state. Near a sparkling river and full of lush trees, the 50-acre site honors soldiers of wars spanning from World War I to Afghanistan and stands as a living tribute to the sacrifices made by many in the community.
But the effects of time and lack of upkeep had let much of the park slip into a state of disrepair – a problem that Muskegon Local 275 retirees Jack Kramer and Steve Marshall are helping meet head on.
For the past year, Kramer and Marshall have helped coordinate a vast crew including retirees, journeymen and apprentices to rebuild, rewire and reestablish the park’s original 1934 luster. Marshall, a 21-year member and Navy veteran, said:
It’s a great opportunity to help beautify the city and it’s a way to honor our fellow veterans. Plus, it shows that the IBEW is engaged and that we care for our community.
And “community” is the active word for this large-scale endeavor. The renewal effort began in the 1970s, when the VFW and the American Legion formed the Save Our Veterans Memorial Park Committee. Among many structural improvements, new granite monuments were erected bearing the names of local residents who died in wars and conflicts. Now comes the electrical phase, made possible through a partnership of Local 275 and the Michigan NECA chapter.
Business Manager Sean Egan said the push has been “member-driven” with “participation from brand new members, retirees and all age groups in between.”
You can read the entire IBEW article about this HERE