Residents’ military service reflected on Wall of Honor

Staff Writer

Residents’ military service
reflected on Wall of Honor


Staff Writer

For years, Memorial Day has been something very special for the residents at Surrey Downs, an adult community in Howell.

Traditionally, the residents of Surrey Downs hold a special ceremony each year to honor veterans of various wars and their spouses who live, or have lived, in the community. The veterans’ pictures are displayed on a Wall of Honor in the lobby of the community’s clubhouse.

The veterans currently making up the Wall of Honor are of World War II, Korea and Vietnam vintage. There are veterans from all branches of the military, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines who have served their country at home and abroad.

Sunday was no exception as the annual Memorial Day ceremony was held at the flagpole in front of the clubhouse. The tribute included the ringing of a bell for veterans who have died in action or since their service in the military. There was a color guard and a roll call of veterans whose names appear on the Wall of Honor.

"We are very proud of our Wall of Honor," said Jackie Garfunkel, publisher of the Surrey Downs newsletter, Ups & Downs. "We are very proud of the contribution and sacrifice these men and women have made in the past for our country. There wasn’t a dry eye among the bunch who attended the ceremony."

The wall now has 204 faces of veterans from their service days — two of them women. Of those whose photos on the wall, 89 are still alive, Garfunkel said.

"We try to keep our wall updated as new people move into our community," she said.

According to Garfunkel, any resident of Surrey Downs whose spouse, living or dead, served in the military is invited to submit his or her picture for addition to this memorial.

"It is a favorite spot for the senior citi­zens living here to reflect upon the many young and strong faces featured here and to remember the service they rendered," Garfunkel said.

Surrey Downs, off Route 524, is an adult community of 450 homes which opened in 1986. Garfunkel has resided in the community since 1986. She said the idea to create the Wall of Honor was that of a Surrey Downs veteran, the late Bob Luhrs, in the mid-1990s. He wrote veter­ans news for the newsletter.

"The Wall of Honor is here to stay," Garfunkel said, adding that her husband, Al, helped to frame the finished photos after they had been scanned into a com­puter.