Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony
for "Detroit's Own - Polar Bears"
(American North Russia Expeditionary Force, U.S. Army, World War I )

White Chapel Memorial Cemetery
Troy, Michigan

29 May 2006

The Ceremony was opened with the Posting of the Colors by a Color Guard consisting of members of the 1-339th Infantry Regiment and civilian re-enactors in WW I uniforms. LTC Steven Kenyon is in the foreground.


The Posting of the Colors was followed by our National Anthem and then by a performance of "Lord Lovat's Lament" by John Cataldo and Judy Salajan on the bagpipes and drum.


There were nearly 300 people in attendance this year, the highest number in probably 40 years.


Our first speaker was Stan Bozich, who is the Vice President of the Polar Bear Memorial Association and also the Executive Director of "Michigan's Own Military and Space Museum" in Frankenmuth, Michigan.


A pair of F-16 fighter jets performed a flyover during the service as a tribute to the Polar Bears. The jets are from the Michigan Air National Guard's 107th Fighter Squadron which is based at Selfridge Field.


Mike Grobbel, President of the Polar Bear Memorial Association, delivers his remarks from the podium while attendees listen from under the portable awnings provided by White Chapel Memorial Cemetery. The service was held under a blazing sun and a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit.


Kathy Canapini, the Secretary/Treasurer of the Polar Bear Memorial Association, addresses the audience while David R. Krall, Vice President of White Chapel Memorial Cemetery (standing, far left), listens.


The members of the Color Guard listen to the speakers from their positions surrounding the Polar Bear Monument.


LTC Steven Kenyon was our guest speaker. He is the former Commander of the 1st Battalion, 339th Infantry Regiment, 7th Brigade, 100th Division. Standing to his right are John Cataldo and Judy Salajan.


First Sergeant Earle Lewis leads the 1-339th Rifle Squad as they fire three rifle volleys. This was followed by "Taps", a bagpipe performance of "Amazing Grace" and then the Color Guard "Retired the Colors".


The "Four Freedoms Monument" (above) is located in White Chapel Cemetery, just to the northwest of the Polar Bear Monument. Created by Indiana sculptor Adolph Wolter, it was commissioned to honor those who died in World War Two. Immediately following its completion, the Polar Bear Association expanded their traditional Memorial Day service to include the placing of a wreath at this Monument. In recent years, the Polar Bear Memorial Association has revived their practice and places a wreath there following the conclusion of their annual service for the Polar Bears.


All photos (except the last) were taken by Gary Steinhaus, grandson of Pvt. William Steinhaus, Co. A, 339th Infantry Regiment.

View photos from previous Memorial Day Ceremonies at White Chapel Cemetery:

30 May 2005
31 May 2004
26 May 2003
27 May 2002
28 May 2001
29 May 2000

View photos from the "Polar Bears" Plaque Dedication Ceremony at the Detroit Zoo (10 Nov 2001)

RETURN to the Polar Bear Ceremonial Events Page

This page created and maintained by Mike Grobbel
Created: 31 May 2006
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