Memorial Day is the traditional start of the summer vacation,  a time for  barbecues and going to the beach.  The cadets of the Michigan City High School (MCHS) Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (MCJROTC) recognized the true meaning of the holiday, which is to remember those who gave their lives in the service of their country.  They did this by placing flags on veterans graves at the Greenwood Cemetery, saluting the veterans groups as they traversed the Washington Park Bridge for their memorial service, marched in the Michigan City Memorial Day parade, and participated in the Michigan City Memorial Day service.

Major Tom McGrath, the Senior Marine Instructor, explained how an academic unit motivated the cadets to participate in the above activities. ”We studied a unit on President Lincoln, and showed the scene from the movie “Saving Private Ryan” where Lincoln’s letter to the mother who lost five sons in the Civil War was read.  That letter epitomizes both the grief of losing loved ones who serve in our military, but also the reason why so many take the risk  and volunteer to protect our country and our way of life.”

“Throughout the school year, our cadets have demonstrated great unselfishness in supporting our school and community,” said Marine Instructor Master Sergeant Jeff Benak.  “Memorial Day activities are the perfect time to continue the idea of service over self.”

While many of their fellow students will be relaxing over the summer, the cadets will  be busy preparing for the next school year, as well as supporting the community.  Cadets will be conditioning for the rigorous Raider team competitions, as well as practicing for the upcoming military drill meets.  They will be doing traffic control and helping attendees of MCHS’s Graduation,  marching in the Michigan City Kiddie and Patriotic parades in June, as well as supporting numerous civic events. Select cadets will be attending national JROTC Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) camp near Washington, DC and the national Military Drill camp near San Antonio, Texas.  All JROTC activities are done at no cost to the student or MCHS.  Costs are completely covered by the Marine Corps.   The cadets will finish up their summer activities by supporting the school district wide Back-To-School Rally on Saturday, August 10th.