Community Honors Fallen Soldiers at Saline’s 48th Annual Parade Memorial Day
By Carleen Nelson-Nesvig, STN Writer
The Saline community came together to honor the memory of fallen soldiers and pay their respects on Memorial Day. Led by the Saline Police and Fire Departments, the procession featured a diverse range of participants, each representing a different aspect of the community's gratitude and remembrance.
The flag bearers, carried the American flag with utmost reverence, symbolizing the sacrifices made by countless servicemen and women throughout history. Following them were the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 310, a group that holds a special place in the hearts of many, as they embody the resilience and bravery of those who served during that tumultuous era. The Girl and Boy Scouts of America, Pack 461 Cub Scouts, Color Guard, Majorette, Twirlers, and Drum Major.
This year's Grand Marshal, US Navy Senior Chief Hull Technician Jason D. LeVasseur, followed after, receiving well-deserved recognition for his service and commitment to his country – his presence a strong reminder of the sacrifices made by the men and women in the armed forces, both past and present.
The Saline City Council also participated, standing in unity with the community they serve to demonstrate honor and gratitude for the sacrifices made by the fallen soldiers. The Girl and Boy Scouts of America, including Pack 461 Cub Scouts, showcased their respect and understanding of the importance of Memorial Day, as they paraded proudly alongside the veterans and community leaders.
One of the highlights of the parade was the participation of more than 200 volunteers from Saline High School's Marching Band. The band members, each equipped with their respective instruments, filled the air with somber yet uplifting melodies that echoed through the streets. From the hauntingly beautiful notes of the clarinet to the resonant sounds of the tuba, their music carried a sense of reverence and appreciation for the fallen heroes.
The Cardinal O'Hare Assembly and the Knights of Columbus, accompanied by Sir Knight Griswold, a golden Labrador service dog, added a touch of solemnity and grace to the parade. Their presence was a reminder of the support and camaraderie that exists within the community, as they continue to honor the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
As the parade wound its way through the streets, residents and visitors alike lined the sidewalks, waving flags and applauding the participants. The atmosphere was one of unity, respect, and gratitude, as the community stood together to honor and remember the fallen soldiers who selflessly gave their lives in service to their country.
The parade culminated at Oakwood Cemetery, a hallowed ground where veterans are laid to rest. Here, the participants, accompanied by onlookers, paid their final respects with a solemn ceremony, laying wreaths and observing a moment of silence. It was a deeply moving conclusion to a day filled with both reflection and celebration.
The 48th Annual Memorial Day Parade in Saline served as a reminder that the true meaning of this national holiday extends far beyond the barbecues and family gatherings. It is a time to come together as a community, to honor the fallen, and to express gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy
All photos by Carleen Nelson-Nesvig