City to hold ruck march, ceremony on Veterans Day

 The Royal Oak Memorial Society honors veterans during last year’s Veterans Day ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Plaza between City Hall and the library. This year’s ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 at the same location.

The Royal Oak Memorial Society honors veterans during last year’s Veterans Day ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Plaza between City Hall and the library. This year’s ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 at the same location.

File photo by Deb Jacques


By: Mike Koury | Royal Oak Review | Published November 7, 2017

ROYAL OAK — The city of Royal Oak will be holding two events celebrating veterans on Veterans Day, as well as gathering items and money for related causes.

Beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Barbara Hallman Plaza, 211 S. Williams St., a 2.2-mile Veterans Day Fun Run/Walk Ruck March will be held, followed by a ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Plaza at 11 Mile Road and Troy Street, located between City Hall and the Royal Oak Public Library.

Registration for the ruck march will start at 9 a.m., and the ruck march will begin at 9:30 a.m. The price for adults ages 18 and older is $10; the price for those ages 17 and younger is $5; and participation is free for active and retired military members. All proceeds will go toward the Michigan World War II Legacy Memorial.

A ruck march is where soldiers walk with weighted backpacks. Organizers behind the event are asking participants to carry a backpack with at least 22 pounds in it or 22 food or personal items that will be donated to the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 Food Pantry and the Royal Oak American Legion Post 253.

The “22” theme is to bring attention to an important statistic involving veterans.

“The symbol of the 2.2 and the 22 items is for the 22 veterans that commit suicide everyday,” said Carol Hennessey, a member of the Royal Oak Memorial Society.

The event was brought to the city by Sgt. Robert Robinson and Staff Sgt. Joseph Coffey, who were looking to do something to give back to the community.

Robinson, who’s been a member of the Army for seven years, said they initially thought of a 5K run, but then they started thinking about more ideas and came up with the ruck march. Hennessey brought them the idea of “22.”

“I wanted to do something different. I love to ruck myself, and I know some people like to do that type of thing, just try to stay active, so I thought about bringing it up to them and seeing if they’d be interested in doing it,” Robinson said.

Hennessey said the march, after starting at the Barbara Hallman Plaza, will end at the corner of Troy and Fourth Street.

“At that point, we will have an honor guard and our veterans from the VFW start the march to our Veterans Memorial Plaza, and at that point, we’ll start our Veterans Day service,” she said.

At the Veterans Day ceremony, Hennessey said, the Gentleman Songsters will sing a medley of patriotic songs, the 9th Kentucky Infantry will do a rifle salute, and two students from the Royal Oak High School band will play taps.

For more information, visit romi.gov/ruck.