Memorial Day Parade in small town America…

May 26, 2015

I participated in the Memorial Day Parade again this year in our little Village of Milford. Milford is one of those Mayberry RFD type towns and the Memorial Day parade is one of our best parades of the year for all of the right Milford memorial day parade 1reasons. First off it’s totally non-commercial. There are no business vehicles with signs all over them and no politicians handing out campaign literature. No candy is thrown for the kids and there are no balloons or clowns.

The Milford parade has the spectators lining the entire route, especially Main Street all the way through the downtown, and applauding as the veterans ride or march by. A local florist donates flowers for the children to hand out to the vets. Many people make signs, all saying “Thank You” or “Thank you for your service”. Some stand and salute the vets as they pass. Most parents explain to their children the meaning of the day and the sacrifices that the Milford memorial day parade 2marchers have made for everyone’s sake. The younger one’s don’t really understand, but they stand and wave and yell Thank you anyway.

I rode in today’s parade; not because I couldn’t walk it, but they were asking for volunteers to ride so that the people who volunteered their personal Jeeps wouldn’t feel bad about not having a passenger. Most of the riders are elderly vets who can no longer make the walk on their own. The Jeep ahead of me had a man who is a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War. There are fewer and fewer surviving WWII vets here and elsewhere.

As I rode along today, waving at the people lining the way, a little girl ran up to the Jeep from out of the crowd and Memorial Day Paradre Cardgave me this card. I’m pretty sure that at 2 years old, she didn’t make it all by herself. Her older sister was there with her and may have helped some; but the enthusiasm and pride that she showed as she thrust the card to me was all her own. I had been given a flower earlier, a carnation I think; and I gave it to her in return.  Somehow I know that we will be OK as a nation as long as we keep honoring those who serve our nation and as long as we keep raising our children like that little girl is being raised.

It was another great Memorial Day Parade in small town America. Have a great week ahead. I know that I will.

Remember those who fell and those who served this weekend…

May 23, 2014

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.

Memorial Day 4On 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 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 Petpic88 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 pic90served 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.

It’s really a pretty awesome place and one that cannot help but bring back memories of some loved pet from longpic86 ago, or maybe a service dog, police dog or military dog that you knew.



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.

Memorial Day Parade – MIlford 2013

May 29, 2013

There is always news coverage of one of more Memorial Day parades in any town or city across America. This is a video that I shot from within the parade as I marched on Memorial Day in Milford Michigan.

As it states in the opening, this was not how it was when I came home from the war in Viet Nam. It is hard to describe the great feelings that one has while marching in this parade, especially since the war that we were in was so hated at the time. The man who you will see waving a flag ahead of me in this video had it made for this parade. In part it read – “Our cause was just”; so Viet Nam Vets are still defending ourselves and the war that we fought those many years ago; however, the heartfelt shouts of  “Thanks You” along the way goa long way to healing those old wounds.

Enjoy a moment that was special to those who marched…