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May 27, 2013 - Waterford Township Memorial Day Parade

The 2013 Waterford Township Memorial Day Parade was about an hour and a half of active community participation this May 27, with the crowds lining Dixie Highway joining the paraders in a festive display of celebration and remembrance for our veterans and their fallen comrades. We at DMM took our usual spots just outside the Donut Delight donut shop, for obvious reasons, putting our steaming coffees in the “Not for hot beverages” holders in the arms of our fold-up chairs so we could take pictures. Donut Delight is at the end of the parade route and this location usually lets us observe the marchers staring to sweat, with some probably near the end of their endurance (it would be the end of my endurance anyway). Not this time. The morning actually started out with a chill in the bright air that gradually warmed to perfect parade weather.

As usual, the parade began at 10 A.M. at the intersection of Sashabaw Road and Dixie Highway, fortunately avoiding the current construction. From Sashabaw it headed north and ended at Williams Lake Road. Along the parade route people lined both sides of the highway for the entire distance, routinely spilling over into the parade right-of-way to grab thrown candies, to snap photos (guilty as charged), wave at parade-bound friends and acquaintances, and get shooed backwards by the ever-patient motorcycle police who can steer a bike much better than I ever could. All the usual appurtenances of a local parade were present, including veterans, flags, active service members, floats, bands (Waterford Mott and Kettering), politicians, churches, Cub, Boy and Girl Scouts, dance troupes, business vehicles, service groups and many more.

As it always does, the VFW tribute parade concluded with a memorial service in Drayton Plains Cemetery for those the U. S. has lost in war. One difference this year was the introduction of several veterans who served in WWII. As you might imagine, they got a healthy round of applause. The service always includes one of the Waterford high school bands and this year it was Waterford Mott. The veteran bagpiper played Amazing Grace after the benediction and the laying of the flowers, followed by a 21 gun salute. The rendition of Taps was played by a Mott trumpeter, but this year there was no echoing trumpet. As always the service was followed by free hotdogs, chips, beer, and pop at VFW Post 1008. The parade has been held for 47 years and has been coordinated by Donna Kelley for 20 of those years. This is truly a Waterford community tradition and, if you’re in the area next Memorial Day, you should watch the parade and attend the very moving memorial service. To see what we saw, click on the stack of photos above and enjoy.