By Gari Voss
On Monday, May 30, 2022, communities around Allegan County will hold parades and services to remember and honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
Decoration Day began following the Civil War that ended in 1865. In 1866, municipalities of all sizes began springtime tributes to the fallen soldiers by decorating graves and sharing prayers. As the U.S. became involved in other major conflicts, the holiday expanded to honor military personnel who died in all wars.
In 1968, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed by Congress, and established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May. The law took effect in 1971 when Memorial Day was declared a federal holiday.
Municipalities across Allegan County with the assistance of organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will hold parades, services and the laying of flowers and wreaths in local cemeteries.
The City of Allegan’s Celebration will begin with a Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 30, 2022. Parade participants will meet at the Allegan County Courthouse parking lot and proceed to Oakwood Cemetery. All participants are welcome to gather beginning at 10am to either march or drive/ride a vehicle in the parade. The parade starts promptly at 10:30 am. Representatives from each major conflict will present a wreath during the service at the cemetery. For further details, contact Peter Antkoviak at 269-686-6203. A Memorial Service will be held at the Oakwood Cemetery at about 11am. Immanuel Lutheran Church on Grand Street will provide a luncheon at 12:00 pm.
The American Legion Honor Guard will be at the following cemeteries at the following times on Memorial Day:
8:00 am – Dorr American Legion Post 127
8:30 am – Saint Stanislaus Cemetery
9:15 am – Richter Cemetery
10:00 am – Dorr Cemetery
10:45 am – Jones Cemetery
11:30 am – Sproat Cemetery
Noon – Dorr Park Veterans Memorial
The Dorr American Legion Post 127, located at 4310 18th Street, will open at noon on Memorial Day and begin serving grilled chicken dinners and BBQ pork sandwiches at 1 p.m. until all is gone. Sign-up begins at noon for a horseshoe tournament that starts at 1 p.m. There will NOT be bingo or kids games this year. A cash raffle will be drawn at 5 p.m. so come in and get your tickets now!
Fennville’s Memorial Day Parade begins at 10 a.m. starting at the park. The parade heads south to First Street, east on First Street to Park Street, south on Park to Main Street (M-89) and then west on M-89 to Fennville Cemetery, where a memorial service will be held.
Hamilton’s Memorial Day Parade begins at Hamilton Middle School, 4845 136th Ave. at 9 a.m., with lineup at 8 a.m. The parade ends at Riverside Cemetery where a memorial service will be held immediately following the parade.
Hopkins Township is hosting its annual Memorial Day Service at Maplewood Cemetery at the corner of 130th Ave. and 17th St. on Monday, May 30, 2022, at 10 a.m. – rain or shine. All are welcome! Bring a chair, water bottle and sunshine!
The Hopkins/Wayland VFW, Hopkins High School Band, Hopkins FFA, Sons of the Union Civil War Veterans, Hopkins Boy Scouts, local musicians, and Keynote speaker will participate in the remembrance.
The Martin Community Memorial Day Parade will line up at 9:30am at Martin High School and will step off at 10am. The Parade with Grand Marshall Earl Wykstral will continue to Geib Memorial Park for a ceremony honoring the fallen veterans. Participants are wanted, no registration is necessary, and for more info call 269 672-7777.
The Otsego VFW Post 3030 will be coordinating Memorial Day festivities. At 8:45am, Parade entries will line up in the Mountain Home Cemetery at the DPW driveway and USG parking lot. At 9:30am, after a short ceremony, the Parade will move to Memorial Park on Farmer Street where The Sweet Adeline will participate in a Memorial Service. Following the Service, a free lunch will be offered at the Otsego VFW.
The Plainwell VFW Post 9377 will sponsor a Memorial Day Parade that will begin at the 11am. Participants will line up behind Plainwell ACE Hardware on N. Anderson Street and travel to M-89 then east to the cemetery. The community can demonstrate its gratefulness to Veterans and that they are not forgotten. To participate in the parade, contact Cheryl at 269 685-3413 to register.
Pullman activities begin at the VFW Hall on 199th Ave. where the parade participants will organize. The parade will cross the tracks, conduct a gun salute, and travel to the Health Center before returning to the VFW. At 3pm, a service will begin at the Lee Township Cemetery on 53rd St. with the hanging of the American flag and laying of the commemorative wreath. Everyone is invited to return to the VFW Post for hot dogs.
The annual Memorial Day Parade will begin at 11 a.m. at the Wayland State Police Post, 544 N. Main St., and conclude at the Wayland VFW, 735 S. Main St. After the parade, there will be a 21 gun salute at the VFW flagpole followed by lunch that can be purchased for cash or check. Public is invited.
Floats and advertising vehicles are to be lined up no later than 10:15 a.m. on Dahlia Avenue facing Main Street. Walkers must be lined up no later than 10:40 a.m. in the field across from the Michigan State Police Post. This parade has a no-horn, no-sirens policy in memory of the fallen Veterans. Register to participate at email@example.com or call 269.792.9246.
Veterans are needed for cemetery honors (including rifle and taps) and parade participation. The bus for the cemetery honors will depart by 7:30am from the Wayland VFW. Please arrive by 7:15am. The cemetery schedule is:
8:50am: Native American
9:45am: St. Cyrils & Methodias