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Upper Peninsula Veteran’s Memorial

Upper Peninsula Veteran’s Memorial on top of Pine Mountain (From TripAdvisor)

A Veteran’s Memorial is a way to remember our fallen allies whom have served in some form of war (Danto). There are hundreds of these memorials Scattered throughout the world and all of them pay tribute to the lives of Veterans whom have served their country (Hass). In most cases, these memorials are built to not forget those whom have fallen. There are some Veterans memorials that do honor those whom have survived a war. They are built so the family members and the friends can look, appreciate, and honor their loved ones whom have fallen, and whom have served in battle. It serves as a peaceful place to honor the loved ones that have served. Not only does it pay a great amount of respect for the Veterans and their families, it also shows that the community truly supports and is grateful for all the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice of the Veterans whom have served this country. Veterans really do appreciate all the time and effort put into building this monument because it makes them feel appreciated and respected. A lot of Veterans feel that their sacrifice has been left unappreciated. The Veterans memorial is a sign of gratitude by the community and by people around the world for these Veterans who put their lives on the line every single day (Haines).


There are many Veteran’s Memorials throughout the Upper Peninsula of Michigan who honor great Veterans whom fought and served for the United States of America. The Upper Peninsula Veteran’s Memorial lay on top of the Pine Mountain hill in Iron Mountain Michigan. The Purpose of this beautiful memorial is to honor the many Veterans from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan whom have fought and died for our country. This memorial honors the fallen troops of several mass wars including the Korean War, World War I, World War II, from Europe and Japan, Vietnam, Lebanon-Granada, the Middle Eastern wars, and to all the Veterans that have given their lives for our country. This beautiful memorial has representatives from every one of the fifteen counties across the entire Upper Peninsula. There are several tombstone like markers which contain the names of the people whom have served and honored this country which have all been donated by the family members and the friends of those whom have served in a certain war or battle. A major contribution by the community has made this memorial possible. Donations all around the Upper Peninsula have been contributed by the community in order to help build and construct the grounds necessary for this monument. All work has been done by volunteers throughout the community and it is highly encouraged to purchase a place to put a Veteran’s name on the plaque underneath the respective wars that they may have fought in. There continues to be a need for donations and help to improve the grounds, expand, and keep the memorial as a place of peace, honor, and respect (Massicotte).

What makes this memorial so special to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is that it honors the fallen member of several distinct wars. This way instead of just honoring the Veteran’s of one specific war, the Veteran’s of several wars get honored. It does not focus on just one war, but eight separate wars. Veterans of many wars get honored in this monument and that is very special to the people of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Also it is on top of a historic landmark of the world. Besides the fact of being one of the few Veteran’s memorials in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan which honors Veteran’s from several wars, this memorial is located at one of the most unique locations in the world, the people of the Upper Peninsula feel honored to have such a beautiful establishment on top of the tallest ski jump in the world, Pine Mountain. Being on such such a unique landmark, this monument is looked upon with an even greater honor.

The flag that resides in the center of the memorial.         (From Don Larsen)
The flag that resides in the center of the memorial.
(From Don Larsen)


After almost a full year of planning and preparing, on July 1st, 2006 the memorial was officially unveiled. With the support of hundreds of people in the Upper Peninsula, this memorial was made possible. Veterans from all over the U.P. volunteered to help make this possible. With the help of the community and all the families of the fallen Veterans, the memorial was able to be constructed and put into place. The Headstones were unveiled individually by members corresponding to their infantry units. The Marines unveiled the Marine headstone, the Army unveiled their headstone, and the Air Force unveiled their headstone etc. The massive flag was presented by many veterans of all different branches of the military. They each stood side by side and held the flag up with two hands. They flew this flag over Pine Mountain to not only remember the fallen troops in the Upper Peninsula, but to honor all the 58,000 men who died in the Vietnam War as well. The flag idea came from a Veteran whom was watching the Ski Jump tournament from the bottom of the hill. He was watching and looked up at the jump and realized that there was not an American Flag at the top of the hill. He met with fellow Veterans and they agreed to not only fly a flag at the top of the hill, but to turn the top of the hill, base of the jump, into a Veteran’s Memorial to honor those whom have served from the Upper Peninsula. At the beginning of this memorial there was only one headstone honoring the fallen and retired Veterans of the Vietnam War. Later, they build more headstones honoring the Veterans of many of the past wars. From WWI to the people fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq today. The WWII monument surprisingly had to be doubled in size due to the many different Veterans from the Upper Peninsula. When building the spaces for the headstones, the workers received a call mentioning how they would have to increase the plaque and headstone space for WWII because of the overwhelming number of responses they were getting from the families of the WWII Veterans. Perhaps the most touching thing about this memorial is how much the Veterans truly appreciate it. Mainly the Veterans from the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Many of the Korean War Veterans were overwhelmed with joy when they heard about the building of this monument. Many of them were grateful because in a way they felt like they were being forgotten about. They say that this monument really shows the appreciation that they had never received for fighting for our country in Korea. The Vietnam Veterans also showed immense gratefulness when hearing about this monument. They explain that when they returned from Vietnam there really was no welcome home for them. With this monument being built and the Vietnam headstone which resides in it, they finally feel like they got their “welcome home”. As the Helicopter flew over the memorial during the opening ceremony, many of the Vietnam Veterans broke down and started to cry. Reason being is that they saw the helicopter and they really truly appreciated all the things that the Upper Peninsula has done building this monument to honor the Vietnam War (American Legion).

Interestingly enough, this memorial has barely eclipsed ten years of age a very unique and interesting way of becoming what it is today. This memorial took over a year to plan and to complete. At the base of the Pine Mountain Ski Jump is where you will find this monument. The Pine Mountain Ski Jump is actually one of the world’s highest standing Ski Jumps. This jump, being so famous, did not have an American Flag standing beside it until 2006. The people whom built this memorial realized this and decided it was time to hang a flag from the base of the jump. Observing that there was no flag on top of Pine Mountain, one man also had the idea of building a memorial to honor all the fallen Veterans from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The ceremony was quite the sight as many people attended. The dedication of this memorial was presented by a Major General whom received a purple heart in the Vietnam War. U.S. Senator Bart Stupak presented the flag, as it was raised by a helicopter. This flag is an extremely important part of this memorial as it takes over twenty people to raise it as it stands at an impressive 80 feet high. At the bottom of the flag pole there is a time capsule which contains former service members DD214’s, which is a document of a service member’s retirement, discharge, or separation from a specific war. Which, said by many people, are like the “diploma’s” of a Veteran’s service. These valuable documents will not be opened until the year of 2106, and the reason being is, so their sacrifices and their loving memories will never be forgotten. It is a great representation of memory for those whom have fallen (Larson).



Being as though this beautiful monument has been around for just over ten years, there has been some recent expansions and expansion planning for this monument. Before July of 2015, the monument consisted of mainly headstones and the massive flag that swings overhead. In the summer of July 2015, a bronze Sailor was added to the monument in honor of the fallen former Navyman, Nick Simone. The story is very touching and brings a lot of great memories back to the war memorial. The Statue is really a beautiful sight to look at. Standing at six feet six inches tall and weighing in at 1200 pounds, you merely cannot miss it when looking at the monument. Before this statue was added, the monument did not really have any headstones or plaques labeled for the veterans of the Navy. There was mostly Army, Air Force, and Marines. The purpose of building this Bronze Sailor, is to make sure that the monument incorporates all types of veterans and to make sure that they are all honored for the service that they provided for the United States. There is a plaque that lay in front of the statue, and it is meant to honor not only Nick Simone, but to honor all the Navy and all of those who served for it. This is just one of the many ways in which this beautiful memorial continues to expand. The addition of the Navy Bronze Sailor has attracted many people and it pays a great amount of respect for all the Veterans in the Navy. It is a great addition to the U.P. Veterans Memorial (Proudfit).

The Veterans memorial serves purpose to many Veterans and their families across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This beautiful monument has shown a great deal of respect for the many Veterans whom have served for this country. It honors the many fallen brothers and sisters whom have fought for this country. The amount of Veteran appreciation for the community for building this monument shows how important it truly is. This monument continues to grow every year and so does the immense amount of support and donations to keep the place clean and looking respectable. There has been an overwhelming amount of support and appreciation for these Veterans over the past ten years. This monument continues to grow every year and continues to bring an incredible amount of tourists to it. It is becoming a very popular attraction site in the Upper Peninsula.

Headstone (From Trip Advisor)


Headstone with the iconic Pine Mountain Ski Jump (From Trover)
Headstone with the iconic Pine Mountain Ski Jump (From Trover)







Primary Sources:

1. Proudfit, T. (2015, July 13). Bronze sailor statue a notable addition at U.P. War Memorial. The Daily News. Retrieved November 17, 2017.

2. American Legion Post 50. 2006 July 1. Veterans Memorial Unveiling. (Film).

3. Massicotte, B. (2017, April 3). UP War Memorial Needs Your Help. The Daily News. Retrieved November 17, 2017.

Secondary Sources:

1. Larson, Dennis (2007). Welcome to the Upper Peninsula Veteran’s Memorial atop Pine Mountain. 

2. Danto, Arthur (1985). “The Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial”. The Nation. 

3. Hass, Kristin Ann (2015). Sacrificing Soldiers on the National Mall.Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

4. Haines, Harry (1986). “‘What Kind of War?’: An Analysis of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial”. Critical Studies in Mass.