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

White Chapel Memorial Cemetery
Troy, Michigan

25 May 2009


The Color Guard is in place for the start of the ceremony.

Standing for the National Anthem

Standing for the National Anthem

Master of Ceremonies, Mike Grobbel, begins the service.

David P. Krall, President of
White Chapel Cemetery, welcomes the attendees.

David P. Krall, Vice President of
White Chapel Cemetery, reads U.S. Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg's
1929 Congressional tribute to the "Polar Bears".

The Color Guard stands in front of the Polar Bear Monument

David P. Krall reads from Sen. Vandenberg's tribute the names of the "Polar Bears" who died in North Russia.

Stan Bozich, Executive Director of the
"Michigan's Own Military & Space Museum" addresses the crowd,
which was estimated to be around 500 people.

A young guest listens as Pamela Peak, the producer/director of
"Voices of a Never Ending Dawn", speaks to the attendees.

Pamela Peak, the producer/director of
"Voices of a Never Ending Dawn", shares her experiences of meeting the many "Polar Bear" family members as she produced her documentary about the soldiers of the American North Russia Expeditionary Force. Following the service, nearly 600 people attended two screenings of the "director's cut" version of her film which were shown in White Chapel's Temple of Memories. The final edited version of the film is scheduled to be shown in November 2009 on WTVS Detroit Public Television and on PBS stations nationwide in 2010.

Attendees listening as Pamela Peak speaks.

Attendees listening as Pamela Peak speaks.

The Color Guard in the foreground and Rifle Squad in the background consisted of members of the 1-334th Training Support Battalion, 4th Brigade, 95th Division, which is headquartered in Fraser, Michigan. The Color Guard also included several "Polar Bear" re-enactors wearing authentic WW I uniforms.

An A-10 "Thunderbolt" attack fighter jet from Selfridge Field conducted a flyover during the service.

Laying of the wreaths.

Laying of the wreaths.

The rifle squad fires a 21 gun salute.


The Color Guard stands at attention.

Continuing a tradition begun by the Polar Bear Association following the end of World War II, a wreath was also laid at the "Four Freedoms" monument at White Chapel, which honors the dead of World War II.

Later in the day, the seats and tents have been removed and the Polar Bear Monument
stands surrounded by a sea of flags waving in the wind.


(Photography by Susan Davidson and Mike Grobbel)

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

26 May 2008
28 May 2007
29 May 2006
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: 16 June 2009
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