The ROTARY CLUB OF KALAMAZOO - SUNRISE, together with Charlie's Place, and the Kalamazoo County Veterans Day and Memorial Day Association, completed another successful Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade in downtown Kalamazoo.
The parade began on Michigan Avenue, near Rose Street, and made its way to the Rose Park Veterans Memorial where a presentation of wreaths took place, and then continued to Riverside Cemetery for the Memorial Day Ceremony. Parade participants this year included floats, military vehicles, marching bands, fire trucks and much more.
Veterans of all wars since WWII were honored.
Michael Wilson, retired Command Sergeant Major with 27 years of military service to the Michigan Army National Guard, gave an upbeat speech about whether it's appropriate to say, "Happy Memorial Day."  He concluded it is okay as long as you do three things first: 1) Thank a veteran; 2) Remember the fallen; and 3) Honor their families.  While Memorial Day is a solemn reminder of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America, it doesn't need to be depressing—rather, we should celebrate the lives of those military service men and women as we remember them.