Memorial Day parade a proud tradition


It’s one of the largest parades of its kind in the nation.

It’s held on Memorial Day every year right here in Springfield, and despite some uncooperative weather, that tradition continued on Monday.

While the day started out rainy and chilly, hundreds of individuals took part in the procession and thousands lined the parade route along West High Street, and Fountain and McCreight avenues to watch it.

Another tradition was also very much in evidence: stopping by Schuler’s Bakery before heading off to the parade. Boxes of goodies were spotted in a variety of places.

The impact of the unusual weather was also something that struck me. As I drove the WHIO Radio van at the rear of the parade, I was amazed at how many people were there wrapped up in rain gear, heavy clothing and even blankets. It looked more like a parade held for Veteran’s Day than Memorial Day. What a change from the normal hot and humid conditions that usually arrive just in time for the holiday.

The parade is important because it is one of only a few events each year that brings the entire community together. And it provides an opportunity to visit with people you don’t see on a regular basis and to meet new people.

This year’s parade theme was “The American Flag: A Symbol of Freedom.” The grand marshal, Vietnam War Veteran Clyde Parsons, was also the featured speaker at the ceremony that followed at Ferncliff Cemetery. He said that theme “is particularly meaningful to me and to all who served and have served.”

Parsons went on to say, “in Vietnam, I saw how oppressive and barbaric leaders can be.”

And he related that while a part of him is annoyed when the American flag is burned, he notes it is often burned because our flag is such a symbol of freedom around the world.

Parsons also stressed, “We are not going away, freedom is tenacious. Those of us who serve and have served are marching behind our flag and always will.”

Springfield Mayor Warren Copeland commented on the importance of the ceremony that follows the parade.

“Here is where we say those words about those who serve,” Copeland said. “We come here to recognize the sacrifice of those who serve.”

I have been in other cities — some the same size or even larger than Springfield — and watched those cities’ Memorial Day parades. They pale by comparison.

This community should be proud of the grand tradition that continues today and of the hard work and dedication of those who organize the events.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Man accelerates to cross rising drawbridge, lands safely on other side
Man accelerates to cross rising drawbridge, lands safely on other side

A man driving to Cape May with his family had to accelerate when a drawbridge abruptly starting rising beneath their vehicle, police said. Terence Naphys was driving with his wife, daughter and her friend when the Middle Thorofare Bridge lifted three to six feet as their RAV4 crossed, according to WRC. So Naphys accelerated and jumped...
Custom-built home for sale in Liberty Twp. for $1.8M
Custom-built home for sale in Liberty Twp. for $1.8M

A custom-built home is for sale for nearly $1.9 million in Liberty Twp. The seven-bedroom home, located at 6385 Coach House Way in Liberty Twp., has more than 10,000 square feet of living space and seven bedrooms. It is listed by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty. » INSIDE LOOK: $1.7M home with indoor pool for sale in Washington...
Heat building in as we approach the Great American Solar Eclipse
Heat building in as we approach the Great American Solar Eclipse

Mostly sunny today will become partly cloudy in the afternoon, according to Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar. Highs will reach the middle to upper 80s. Clearing is expected tonight with lows in the middle to upper 60s. Temperatures on the rise as we approach Monday Chance for rain returns Tuesday Cooler and less humid Wednesday and Thursday...
Study shows thousands of crashes in Ohio caused by debris on roadways
Study shows thousands of crashes in Ohio caused by debris on roadways

Debris on Ohio’s highways — overwhelmingly the result of unsecured loads — results in an average 20 highway fatalities a year and five times as many serious injuries, according to state accident reports. The cost to taxpayers: millions. “It is an ugly problem, but it can also be a dangerous problem,” said Matt Bruning...
‘Hillbilly Elegy’ author, others coming to Springfield for Witt Series
‘Hillbilly Elegy’ author, others coming to Springfield for Witt Series

The author of a recent New York Times Best Seller, an award-winning Iraqi poet, an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, a Pulitzer Prize winner and a service for the anniversary of the Reformation will be among the highlights when the Wittenberg Series marks its 35th season beginning Tuesday, Aug. 22. The 12 cultural programs including lectures, concerts...
More Stories