To the editor:
On Thursday, June 20th, the Village of Calumet planned and presented a memorial ceremony at the Italian Hall site as its contribution to FinnFest. The large crowd experienced a respectful and dignified commemoration worthy of the 73 men, women and children who perished on this site almost one hundred years ago.
The planning of and preparation for this ceremony required the assistance of and participation by many individuals and groups. I would like to thank the Calumet High School Junior ROTC for contributing to the solemnity of the occasion and the Turrun Metsankavijat Wind Band of Turko, Finland for providing the beautiful and inspiring music.
Thanks to our guests, Mr. Pertti Torstila and his wife, Ava, representing the Finnish government for participating in the ceremony.
The wreath laying ceremony at the Italian Hall site touched the hearts of all present.
They both appreciated the memorial display at the village hall with the 73 lilies on display emphasizing the enormity of the Italian Hall tragedy.
Thanks also to the other elected officials for their presence.
The care with which the ceremony was planned was evident to all those present.
Thanks to Sue Dana, Calumet Village, and Tom Baker, National Park Service, for all their efforts in preparing for this event.
The preparation of both the Italian Hall site and Calumet required many hours of labor, sometimes in heavy rain. Thanks to Calumet Village's Department of Public Works, especially Steve Kello and Austin Pearce and to Paul Lehto and the Calumet Township Public Works employees for making the town ready for our guests.
During FinnFest, Calumet Day was our opportunity to "shine" as a community and "shine" we did. Every resident should be proud of our town and the welcome and hospitality it extended to our many visitors.
I'm sure that I will miss someone but I am grateful for the efforts put forth by the people of St. Paul the Apostle Church, the Heritage Center, the Calumet Theatre, Calumet Township and Main Street Calumet in sponsoring events that undoubtedly left a favorable impression on everyone, residents and visitors alike.
Thursday, June 20th was proof that, working together, Calumet can do anything. The day left me very proud to call this village my home.
Village of Calumet