V E T E R A N S B E L L M E M O R I A L :
H O N O R I N G T H O S E W H O S E R V E D
BY DEBORAH VANCE
“We wanted to create a place for veterans from
across the nation to be remembered.”
Dr. James Stewart is a conscientious guy.
He likes to be on time and stay true to
commitments he makes… big and small. He’s
a busy man with a lot on his mind. After a
career spent as a doctor of optometry with his
life dictated by office schedules of patients’
visits, he is now retired. He has a new system to
remember important stuff. He sticks a note on
his bathroom mirror.
Innovative Health - Spring 2018
The note on Dr. Stewart’s mirror
is a visual poke to his brain about
something he doesn’t want to
forget. He uses an appointment
book so the note-on-the-mirror
strategy is more often than not
about something woven into
the fabric of his life and easily
overlooked if he isn’t calculated
about remembering it.
One of the commitments woven
into his life since he was a young
man is his service in the military.
He spent a tour with the Air Force
on the front line in Vietnam—Sgt.
James Stewart, AF Sentry Dog
Handler. When he returned to his
hometown of Montrose, Mich.,
after his assignment, he became an
active member of his local American
Legion post. It’s a thread that has
Dr. Stewart is quick to explain that
the American Legion is a service
to mutual helpfulness. It depends
on membership, participation and
volunteerism to be successful. Its
unsung activities and programs
throughout the country number
in the thousands. It aims to
strengthen our nation one
community at a time.
The American Legion post in
Montrose is on its game. It has
taken one member’s simple idea
and capitalized on it to create a
unique way to contribute to the
nation’s collective experience of
helpfulness and appreciation.
Introducing the Veterans Bell
Memorial—a visual celebration of
service and sacrifice.
Dr. Stewart acts as chairman of
his American Legion committee
dedicated to making the Veterans
Bell Memorial a reality. He didn’t
think of the idea, but he has
enthusiastically facilitated the
process. Charlie Emmendorfer is
the idea guy. He envisioned the Bell
as a molecular, concrete (actually
metal) testament to the existence of
those who were so vital to us at one
time but are now gone… visually
“ringing,” reminding us of the ones
who have sacrificed to protect our
rights, free speech, and the pursuit
of life, liberty and happiness.
Charlie’s story is one of love for
his father-in-law. It wasn’t so much
that he didn’t want his father-in-law
to be forgotten as it was that he
wanted him to be remembered.
Charlie pictured a place to reflect