Kipina to rest in most hallowed ground

Calumet grad to be buried at Arlington

AP Photo/Cliff Owen Calumet Township native Marshall Kipina, a Vietnam War MIA whose remains were recently recovered, will be buried in an expanded Arlington National Cemetery, Seen here Sept. 6 is a field which will be used as internment space at the cemetery.

EAGLE RIVER — The remains of Calumet Township native Staff Sgt. Marshall Kipina will finally be laid to rest next month in Arlington National Cemetery.

Kipina was killed during a reconnaissance mission over Laos in 1966 during the Vietnam War.

His remains were located more than half a century later, and he will be interred at the national cemetery on Oct. 18.

According to the Joseph Battisfore, veterans service officer at the Houghton-Keweenaw County’s Department of Veterans Affairs, four junior cadets from Calumet High School’s JROTC and an officer will attend the service.

Kipina was a 1964 graduate of Calumet High School, as were Gordon Wetelainen and Neil Harri, who are also Vietnam War veterans.

“We, as classmates, Marshall was a classmate of mine,” said Wetelainen, “and we would have liked to see Marshall’s remains brought back here, but from what I understand, he’s going to be buried near the pilot (he was killed with). After I kind of thought about it, I was initially upset about it, but I think it’s appropriate, we assume, they were found together. If you look at it from that point, I think it’s appropriate, but still we would like to have him back here.”

“I would think out there in Arlington, he’s in some good company,” Harri said.

While Kipina has a burial plot at Arlington, he also has one at the Lakeview Cemetery in Calumet Township, where there will also be a burial ceremony for him, conducted by the local VFW units on Oct. 18, at 9 a.m., the same date and time as his internment ceremony at Arlington.

Both Houghton and Keweenaw counties have declared Oct. 18 as Marshall Kipina Day, and flags throughout both counties will flown at half mast.