We have a great tradition here in Ann Arbor that dates back to the 1960’s when neighbors in this newly-formed subdivision called Glacier Highlands hosted a neighborhood parade and ceremony. Since that time, this event has grown to become a beautiful event for our City and I would like to share about some of the components and hope you would consider supporting it this Memorial Day.
PARADE FOR VETERANS: Veterans are invited to walk in the parade behind a very proud flag bearer. Dr. Jim Mitchiner’s father served in the Navy so he has been the traditional color guard member to carry the Stars and Stripes. Details of the parade route are found here: http://glacierhighlands.
OTHER PARADE PARTICIPANTS: Ingrid Sheldon, former mayor of Ann Arbor, has been the parade marshal for many years and organizes the veterans, fire truck, Huron High School drum line, flag corps, Girl and Boy Scout troops and children who have decorated their bikes. (If you have children that would like to decorate their bikes, they can be a part of the parade!)
CEREMONY: Finally, we end in Glacier Highlands park and host a ceremony that includes the singing of “America the Beautiful”, speeches from dignitaries, a roll call for the fallen, the playing of Amazing Grace and taps and the retirement of the colors. What follows is a really nice community event of people playing games, volleyball and a vendor with traditional American fare of hot dogs and hamburgers. Kona Ice is a favorite for the kids who want something fruity and cold. Coffee and donuts are available complements of the neighborhood association.
HONOR: Most of all, what I appreciate from this event is the sharing of community and pride from Ann Arborites who rarely have exposure to the military but come out to this event and participate in a multi-generational honoring of those who have gone before us. A previous Ann Arbor Chronicle article describing our 2014 event is here:
If you have questions or already know you are able to participate, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would particularly like to see more folks in the parade as well as the ceremony. Wearing a uniform is not necessary although it does give a nice impression for the military decorum. We hope to see you there!
-Kevin J. Bohnsack
President, Glacier Highlands Neighborhood Association
Air Force veteran