(Chelsea Update would like to thank Shawn Personke for the photo and information in this story.)
Silver Maples of Chelsea remembered Veteran’s Day with the publication of a new booklet honoring its many WWII and Korean War veterans on Monday, Nov. 12.
“Home of the Brave: War Stories from a Retirement Community” features the stories — both from the homefront and on-the-front — of more than 60 Silver Maples residents.
“It was a labor of love in many ways,” says Shawn Personke, director of activities and public relations for Silver Maples.
The book took more than three months, from initial thought to distribution.
“One of our residents, who is also a writer, thought the time had come – and actually was quickly passing – to record these stories,” Personke says, adding she put together a questionnaire, we distributed to every resident, and the stories arrived over the course of two months.
“Another resident typed up each of the stories, other residents helped proofread. It finally went to print in early October. It turned out quite beautifully,” Personke says.
The Veteran’s Day program, Remembering Our Vets and How Detroit Saved the World, also featured Randy Hotton, a pilot, veteran, and treasurer of the Yankee Air Museum.
“His presentation was all about how the factories of Detroit’s auto industry were able to retool and begin making the materials needed to win WWII,” Personke says. “It’s quite a remarkable story, and it’s truly part of our area’s history.”
Several Silver Maples residents had saved their uniforms or their spouse’s uniform, so organizers were able to mount a mini-exhibit featuring a Navy nurse jacket, and two Army Air Corp uniforms. Vogel’s and Foster’s provided Silver Maples with mannequins for the display.