Parades paying tribute

Memorial Day: a time to step out and honor America's veterans and those that sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Grand Haven and Spring Lake will host their annual parades and memorial services on Monday.
Marie Havenga
May 25, 2013

Here's the lineup:

Grand Haven

Tributes begin Sunday with a 6 p.m. memorial service at First Reformed Church, 301 Washington Ave. in downtown Grand Haven.

The parade steps off at 9:30 a.m. Monday, led by the U.S. Coast Guard Color Guard. The procession begins at Washington Avenue and Sixth Street, then heads down Washington to Waterfront Stadium.

Members of The Hooligans will perform an aerial flyover during the parade.

Parade Grand Marshal E. Jack Gardner, 80, served as a radio operator for the U.S. Air Force in the Korean War.

Honorary marshals include Vincent Antonich, Norma Brazda, Perry DeLille, Derk Doornbos, Porter Fletcher, Al VanOordt, Louis VanRaalte and Robert VerMurlen. Tony Gadjos, Judy Grand and Hilda Zimmerman will be honored as Gold Star Parents.

A memorial service at Waterfront Stadium will immediately follow the parade.

Chris Streng will deliver "Gen. Logan’s Orders," George Bennett will recite Lincoln’s "Gettysburg Address" and Kathy Raggl will read the poem "In Flanders Fields." Two scouts will explain the history and significance of the poppy as a Memorial Day symbol, and local veteran Frank Nagy will give a speech in tribute to our deceased veterans and those who served in the Armed Forces.

Following a flag raising, national anthem and benediction, the public is invited to follow the veterans to the Veterans Memorial at Y Drive for a short ceremony and wreath-laying. The program will conclude with a performance of "Taps."

The Harbor Transit trolleys will transport anyone desiring to attend the final tribute at the Grand Army of the Republic lot of Lake Forest Cemetery. A simple ceremony of a prayer, three volleys and "Taps" will conclude the tributes.

Spring Lake

The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. from the parking lot behind Spring Lake Village Hall (between South Jackson and South Buchanan streets). The route proceeds east on Exchange Street, south on Lake Avenue, east on River Street, then north on Fruitport Road to the Spring Lake Township Cemetery.

Robert Twa, 92, will serve as grand marshal. He is a World War II Army Air Corps veteran who was stationed in Greenland, according to his daughter, Theresa Twa.

Event organizer Michele Yasenak said it's an honor to have Twa join the celebration.

“He's been a lifelong resident of the community,” she said. “It's an honor to be able to invite someone who served during World War II.”

Yasenak said children are also invited to join the parade's lineup.

“We encourage all the kids to decorate their bikes and wear patriotic clothing, and bring up the parade,” she said.

Members of the Spring Lake Heritage Festival Committee will pass out more than 2,000 American flags along the route.

A memorial service will be held on the west side of the Spring Lake Township Cemetery immediately following the procession. Second-graders Emily Fett (Jeffers), Caroline Henry (Holmes) and Sydney Noorman (St. Mary's) will read their winning Memorial Day essays.

“This is a way for the general public to support, remember and reflect on the veterans, and what they've done for us,” Yasenak said. “It's a great way to thank them.”

 

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