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Color Guard folds the flag at my father's memorial service in Allmendinger Park.

As the community celebrates Veterans Day this afternoon at 1 p.m. at Veterans Park, I’ll be among them, thinking about my father, Edwin M. Allmendinger, a WWII Army veteran who completed two tours in Europe.

And this year will be a special Veterans Day for me, personally, because although my dad is gone, he will be forever remembered in Veterans Park with a commemorative brick for his service to this country.

Underneath his brick are some of his ashes, so I guess you could say he’ll actually be there in more than spirit for this year’s tribute. He’s located near fellow WWII veterans, and I’ll proudly stand by it and fondly remember all the times we attended Chelsea events together.

Fittingly, my dad died on Flag Day, June 14, 2009, two weeks shy of his 88th birthday. He was a proud American. But like so many men of his era, he didn’t like to talk about The War. Although, I will say, he enjoyed swapping stories with other veterans when he came to visit.

My dad was a big fan of both the Memorial Day and Chelsea Community Fair parades. When fellow veterans walked by our vantage point, he stood a little taller, waved a little harder, and smiled a little broader.

And although I’m not sure he would have picked the news business for me as a career, he enjoyed reading my stories and loved to walk to the end of the driveway every afternoon to grab “The Ann Arbor News” from the paper box.

He usually spent way more time reading the sports section then any of the other ones, but I also know he always looked for my stories and when he found one, he’d read it first. (Before the U-M sports stories.) I know that because I was usually quietly hiding behind him watching to see what he’d do.

I wish he were still around to read Chelsea Update. I think he’d be proud of this little community news site that I put my heart and soul into publishing each day.

Edwin M. Allmendinger was not just my dad, he was a businessman, too. So, I’m also pretty sure he’d encourage me to remind readers and businesses that along with the news, there’s a flip side of the equation. Ad sponsorships and contributions are important to the continued success of this news site.

So, if you like what you read every day, please consider sending a donation of any amount to Chelsea Update, 18829 Bush Road, Chelsea, MI 48118.

And, to all the veterans out there — thank you for all you’ve done, and continue to do, for this country and the Chelsea community.

It’s because of you that I can freely write this column.

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