Mona Shores School Visit – 2016

Stay off the what?
Mona Shores students gathered at Eric's gravesite
Mona Shores student Sandy Tallman at her father's gravesite
Essay winners presenting wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown
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On a beautiful Saturday afternoon on June 18, 2016 in Washington DC, over 125 students and chaparones from Mona Shores Middle School in Michigan met at Arlington Cemetery with me and my wife Wendi. This was the ninth consecutive year that Eric Wahlberg and the Mona Shores staff conducted the visit.

Similar to their meetings the last eight years, Eric Wahlberg, a teacher at Mona Shores, arranged for the get together. Everyone gathered under the big tree in the grass, in the shade, right next to the “Stay Off The Grass” sign to meet each other and listen to Eric’s dad (myself) speak about Eric to the students before moving on to visit Eric’s grave site.

We are pretty sure the sign was merely a suggestion meant for not walking but sitting was OK.  At least, this is what Eric Wahlberg explained to the park police as they stopped by.  But I digress….


Like previous years, I shared about Eric growing up and how he became such a selfless young man. I also shared about my work with the Michael Reagan portrait foundation ( The kids surprised my wife Wendi and I by presenting a check from funds they had raised for the portrait foundation. We were both humbled to be the recipient of such selfless generosity. As was the case the previous years, the afternoon was a very profound and emotional experience.  I am grateful to my wife also for making the day a great experience.  She was thoughtful enough to have recommended we have water for each of the students.

Most of the time was spent talking about Eric, the type of person he was and kind of impact he was having even though his time with us is over. The letters the Mona Shore students had written to Eric were very touching and heartwarming. Several students read their letters out loud.

Included below is a very small sample of the students letters as well as some of the pictures.

To the Mona Shores students, chaparones and to Eric Wahlberg, on behalf of our son Eric and his family, we want to say thank you for honoring him in this way. You have given us a precious gift by learning about Eric and his life. You are a blessing to us and we are proud to call you our friends.  We look forward to seeing you every year.

Student Letters to Eric

Mona Shores student Cami Filz
Mona Shores student Eliana Hardy
Mona Shores student Kiley Jackson
Mona Shores student Maddie Mills
Mona Shores student Michele Lewandoski
Mona Shores student Neil Welsh
Mona Shores student Ramnit Saini
Mona Shores student Sarah Raman
Mona Shores student Skyler Fellows
Mona Shores student Sydney Fetters
Mona Shores student Tyler Rambow
Unknown Mona Shores student
Mona Shores student Morgan Baker – Essay Winner
Mona Shores student Nolan Kasher – Essay Winner
Mona Shores student Sam Scheibner – Essay Winner
Mona Shores student Sandra Tallman – Essay Winner



Vance Carew

May 26th, 2017

If you so desire I made a poem for this. And I wish to share it with anyone on this site I as well will put it on the 2017 visit to DC as well wish I will not be there.

Vance Carew

May 26th, 2017

Do to say that this is the poem you can comment on it if you wish to.

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