It’s Memorial Day Weekend; a time that younger people may see as a nice long weekend start to the summer season. It’s much more than that, of course; it is a time to pause, reflect and say thank you to the men and women who have served and are serving in our nation’s Armed Forces. We especially take time to remember those who sacrificed their lives in service to out country.
On Memorial Day there will be the traditional parade of veterans in Milford, Michigan, along with all of the hoopla that goes along with a modern parade – marching bands from the local schools, Military vehicles of all types, scout troops and more.
And then there are the veterans – hundreds of men and women from wars stretching back to WWII and forward to the actions in Afghanistan and Iraq of today, and covering all of the time in between.
Thousands of people line the streets of Milford, standing and applauding continuously as the groups marches by 2-abreast. As a marcher for the last few years, I can tell you that it is a great feeling to experience this outpouring of appreciation; especially so for us who march in the View Nam Veterans contingent. We had no such welcoming parades back then.
The Milford Memorial Day parade steps off from the VFW hall on W. Commerce St.at 11 AM and all veterans are
welcome to join the march. For those who cannot walk the parade route there are volunteer Jeeps for transport along the parade route.
There is another experience that I encourage you to have, if you have the time over the weekend – visit the Pet Cemetery in South Lyon/Lyon Township at Milford Rd and 11 mile Road and pause to see the War Dog Memorial.
This cemetery has been in existence since the 1930’s but only in the last few years has it been reclaimed from the terrible condition that it was in and a monument to the K-9 heroes of several wars was enhanced. There are dogs buried in this cemetery that were in service as far back as WWII.
There are literally hundreds of pet buried in this location, both dogs and cats. There are also many dogs that served overseas in our wars buried in the cemetery, including its newest hero Sgt. Mina, a veteran of 9 tours in Afghanistan and 2 in Bosnia. You can read Mina’s story by clicking here.
You can read the back story on this wonderful facility and the rescue effort that is still under way to reclaim this final pet resting ground from nature at their web site – Michigan War Dog Memorial. It had fallen on hard times and been forgotten for years when the current rescue group found it and started work in 2010. They have succeeded in cutting back enough of the overgrowth and cleaning up the area that you can now get an idea of the size of this place, which houses hundreds of pet graves. They’ve also added benches so that people can sit and contemplate these largely unsung heroes of our past wars.
To watch a YouTube video about the cemetery and the reclamation effort, click here.
Go to their Web site if you’d like to help with a contribution or volunteer to help with the continuing reclamation work on this unique cemetery.