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Royal Oak

April 24, 2013

Parade committee looking for Vietnam, Korean War vets

By Robert Guttersohn
C & G Staff Writer

ROYAL OAK — The city’s Memorial Day Parade Committee is looking for volunteers and parade participants.

First, the group is looking specifically for the region’s Korean and Vietnam War vets to march or ride in vehicles for the parade along Main Street May 27.

Secondly, it is looking for volunteers to help clean Oakview Cemetery from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. May 4 and May 11, and for help placing flags at the gravesites of veterans May 15.

Jack Hall, who is the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1669 chaplain and a Vietnam War veteran, said today’s returning soldiers are welcomed home with open arms. He said the people he fought with were often too worried about being associated with the unpopular war to be in any parade.

“That’s why we’ve taken this parade this year to honor our Korean and Vietnam veterans, because they weren’t welcomed back gracefully,” said Carol Hennessy, the president of the Memorial Society and co-chairwoman of the Memorial Day Parade Committee.

For veterans of both wars, Hennessy said they will have vehicles available to take them down Main Street. The committee is hoping for at least 200 Korean and Vietnam veterans to participate. The route for the parade will run north along Main Street between Lincoln Avenue and Second Street.

The committee is also looking to get young people involved in the festivities.

Before the parade, Hennessy said the committee will be working with local Girl Scout and Boy Scout groups to prep for the event. Using that time together, Hennessy said she thinks the committee can teach the children the importance of the holiday, which the committee members feel has been lost.

“We think that if we get the kids in at an early age, they’ll start asking questions, and that’s how we can teach them,” Hennessy said.

Those interested in volunteering or veterans looking to be part of the parade can reach Carol Hennessy at (248) 543-8420 or by email at carolhenny@aol.com.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Robert Guttersohn at rguttersohn@candgnews.com or at (586)218-5006.