Tri-Cities to mark Memorial Day with services, parades and flag waving

The observance of Memorial Day in Grand Haven will begin with a special church service on Sunday night. The Sunday Evening Memorial Service at St. John's Lutheran Church, 527 Taylor Ave., will begin at 6 p.m. Led by the church's pastor, the Rev. Dieter Haupt, the service will conclude with the sounding of "Taps.' The offering will be donated to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.
Mark Brooky
May 27, 2011

Church bells will toll at 9:25 a.m. Monday to set the tone for the Memorial Day tribute in Grand Haven. At 9:30, a World War II-era Harley-Davidson motorcycle will front the Coast Guard Color Guard, as it steps off to lead the annual parade from the corner of Sixth Street and Washington Avenue, then west on Washington to Waterfront Stadium.

The parade’s grand marshal is a local veteran, George Bennett; and the honorable marshals are Norma Brazda, Derk Doornbos, Porter Fletcher, Larry Kuipers, Darrell Thornley, Robert VerMurlen and Jacob Westra.

At the stadium, the Memorial Day service will begin soon after the conclusion of the parade. The ceremony will include Chris Steng delivering “General Logan’s Orders,” Bennett reading “Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address” and Gerry Tripp reciting “Flander’s Field.”

Joe Schulte, a Grand Haven public safety officer and Iraq War veteran, will give a speech in tribute to the area’s deceased veterans and those who have served in the U.S. armed forces. Schulte served as a combat engineer with the Michigan Army National Guard in Kuwait and Iraq in 2003, and was deployed to Iraq again from October 2009 to August 2010.

“The Battle Hymn of the Republic” will be sung by Raymond Strobel. While the Grand Haven High School marching band plays “Abide with Me,” flowers will be scattered on the Grand River from a U.S. Coast Guard boat in memory of the unknown and unreturned service dead.

Retired U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth Kelly will read the roll call of 140 local veterans who have died in the past year, followed by three volleys fired by the Veterans of Foreign War rifle squad and “Taps” sounded by a bugler.

The public is then invited to follow the local veterans organizations to the Veterans Memorial at Y Drive for a short ceremony.

Harbor Transit buses will be available to transport people to the final tribute at Lake Forest Cemetery’s Grand Army of the Republic lot.

The annual Memorial Day parade in Spring Lake will begin at 10:30 a.m. Monday. The public and all veterans are invited to join the parade, which starts at the corner of Buchanan and Exchange streets, travels east on Exchange, turns south on Lake Avenue to River Street, east on River, then north on Fruitport Road to Spring Lake Township Cemetery.

Following the parade, a memorial tribute to all veterans will be held at the cemetery. Winners of the 2011 Memorial Day essay contest will writings read aloud at the cemetery.

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