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Issue 1561 November 25, 2012
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Vets prepare for 21-gun salute in front of the Edson at the Wirt Stone Dock in Essexville.
(MyBayCity Photo Courtesy of Mike Corkran)

Crowds Thronging Edson for Veterans' Day Preview of Future?

November 18, 2012       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Skeptics who have doubted the drawing power of the USS Edson destroyer museum should have shown up for the Veterans Day event Sunday.

They would have seen enthusiastic visitors from various points on the map reveling in the idea of clambering aboard a real U.S. Navy warship.

Mike Kegley, a retired Navy chief petty officer and president of the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum, expressed optimism that the flow of visitors to the ship will live up to predictions.

Visitors are lined up three deep to witness the tribute to veterans last Sunday at the Edson site.
Photo Courtesy of Mike Corkran

Some estimates by consultants are that up to 80,000 persons a year will visit the ship while it is docked near Independence Bridge in Bangor Township.

"It is a tourist attraction and, more than that, a floating tribute to the men and women of the U.S. Navy who have served this country throughout history," said one supporter of the project.

The panoply of patriotic symbolism on Sunday included:

  • uniformed color guards,

  • a 21-gun salute,

  • taps played on a bugle,

  • flag raising,

  • and a wreath dropped into the Saginaw River by Navy veteran Dolores Maillette highlighted the ceremonies honoring vets of all services and all wars.

    The stage for Sunday's event was set by NBC25 that aired an hour-long special on the USS Edson on Saturday Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. on NBC25.

    Part of the documentary was shot at the former Philadelphia Navy Yard where station personnel headed by broadcaster Bill Harris visited as the ship was prepared for its journey through the Atlantic Ocean and the St. Lawrence Seaway to Bay City in July.

    Former crew members of the Edson were among those interviewed by the TV25 team in Philadelphia.

    Interested persons may order a DVD Copy of NBC25's special "USS Edson; A Living History" and $5 of the DVD charge will be donated to the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum.

    The USS Edson's afterdeck was a good place for picture taking on Sunday.
    Photo Courtesy of Mike Corkran

    The U.S. Navy "jack" flag is flown on the bows of Navy ships when the ship is anchored or in port. It is a plain blue flag, with the same number of stars as the national flag.
    Photo Courtesy of Mike Corkran

    A solitary wreath awaits the ceremonies as visitors look over the ship.
    Photo Courtesy of Mike Corkran

    Watching the goings on from the Edson was enjoyed by this group.
    Photo Courtesy of Mike Corkran

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    Dave Rogers

    Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
    respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
    (Contact Dave Via Email at

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