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‘Rudy,’ World Trade Center relic to be part of 63rd Memorial Day Parade

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published May 18, 2015


ST. CLAIR SHORES — Bringing together Hollywood, music, military and American history, the 63rd annual St. Clair Shores Memorial Day Parade will step off at 1 p.m. May 24 at Nine Mile Road and Jefferson Avenue.

This year, a 5-foot section of the World Trade Center will travel the parade route north to 11 Mile Road with the St. Clair Shores Fire Department and the Honor Guard, as well as be on display beforehand at Central Fire Station, 26700 Harper Ave., from noon-4 p.m. May 23.

“It represents the beginning of the war on terror and represents a day in history that all should remember,” said parade committee member Dave Rubello.

And marching in this year’s parade with the Lakeview marching band will be sports figure and motivational speaker Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, the inspiration for the 1993 movie, “Rudy,” about a member of the University of Notre Dame football team who was determined to hit the field.

Ruettiger will meet with fans at 7:30 p.m. May 23 at Fishbones, 23722 Jefferson Ave.

“We couldn’t think of a better guy for diligence, fight and just all-around good spirit,” said Rubello at the May 4 City Council meeting. “Fighting back against all odds.”

The 338th Army Band and the Commander of the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Brig. Gen. John Slocum, will march as well.

Rubello said there will be “some really cool floats in memory of soldiers,” and the entry from the “Detroit Arsenal of Democracy is going to be incredible.” He said the parade will have the most military entries of any local parade.

“We’re trying to give a nice presentation for all of those who have lost their lives,” he said.

Mayor Kip Walby said it is through the hard work of the 14-member parade committee that this signature event in St. Clair Shores goes off without a hitch each year.

“I want to thank them. I love the parade. I’ve been going all my life,” he said. “There’s always something new. They work hard on it and we thank them.”

Along with military and veterans’ groups, local high school marching bands and local celebrities, marching down Jefferson Avenue will be Motown legend Martha Reeves, Michigan State University’s Sparty, Hooper of the Detroit Pistons and Roary from the Detroit Lions, as well as Miss Michigan KT Maviglia and Miss St. Clair Shores Lauren Brown.

“We do have more military group, we have some additional music groups,” said parade committee chair Cheryl Furdos. “Donald Ross the bagpiper (is) returning. He will start off the parade. I’m excited for that.”

Before the parade, T-shirts will be on sale supporting the committee’s efforts for the 64th parade along the parade route. Shirts are on sale now at Salon Melange, 22606 Greater Mack Avenue.

“All the proceeds go directly back into the parade,” Furdos said. “It’s historical, 63 years, and it’s a tribute to the veterans, their families. St. Clair Shores is very dedicated to their veterans.”

Immediately following the parade, there will be a reception at the VFW Bruce Post open to the public.

“The committee’s very excited,” Furdos said. “We feel that we’ve got a lot of very interesting entries and we’re very appreciative of the support we’ve received from the community.

“We’re looking forward to a great day, great weather and a great parade.”