Children remember local veterans during the 2018 Roseville Memorial Day Parade.

Children remember local veterans during the 2018 Roseville Memorial Day Parade.

Photo provided by Matt Belz


Eastpointe and Roseville prepare for Memorial Day parades

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published May 14, 2019

 Brig. Gen. John Slocum, recently retired commander of Selfridge Air National Guard Base, will serve as the grand marshal of the Roseville Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 27.

Brig. Gen. John Slocum, recently retired commander of Selfridge Air National Guard Base, will serve as the grand marshal of the Roseville Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 27.

Photo provided by Matt Belz

 Holy Innocents Church  will be bringing its float back for the 2019 Roseville Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 27.

Holy Innocents Church will be bringing its float back for the 2019 Roseville Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 27.

Photo provided by Matt Belz

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EASTPOINTE/ROSEVILLE — Both Eastpointe and Roseville are gearing up for their annual Memorial Day parades, celebrating the local communities and remembering those who have fallen in service to the United States.

Both parades will take place on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. The Roseville Memorial Day parade will begin at 10 a.m., while the Eastpointe Memorial Day parade will kick off at 11 a.m.

“The parade is on Monday the 27th. Lineup is around 9:30 a.m. The parade starts at 10 a.m.,” said Roseville Memorial Day Parade Committee member Matt Belz. “At the end of the parade, there will be a ceremony to honor the veterans on the steps of Roseville City Hall.”

The Roseville parade will begin on Common Road and proceed to Roseville City Hall.

“The parade is open to any individuals, civic organizations, churches, businesses,” said Belz. “We have the high school bands, Scout troops, cheer teams and other local groups taking part. Of course, we will have plenty of classic cars as well. … It’s pretty much the same as previous years. We have a grand marshal this year: retired former commander of Selfridge Air Base John Slocum. He will march at the front of the parade and give a speech at the end.”

Belz said that as much as people enjoy the parade, the organizers try to remember the reason for the holiday, and they keep their focus on the veterans and fallen service members for whom the holiday is celebrated.

“The ceremony is what we consider the biggest part because that’s when we honor the fallen veterans,” he said. “The American Legion will make the invocation, a wreath will be laid, and we also will honor the fallen military members from Roseville.”

The Eastpointe parade will go north on Gratiot Avenue, turn east on Stephens Road and finish at Kennedy Park, where there will be a memorial service at the park gazebo.

“The ceremony is being hosted by the Sea Cadets, which are young people interested in the military. They will raise the flag, the Eastpointe High School band will play taps, and Eastpointe Mayor Suzanne Pixley will make a speech,” said Eastpointe Parade Committee member Alex Truesdale. “Usually, we have a veteran make the speech, but (Pixley) is retiring this year, and her husband is a veteran, so we thought it was appropriate.”

A community picnic will follow the memorial service at Kennedy Park.

Both parades have competition from the larger Memorial Day parade hosted by neighboring community St. Clair Shores. However, the organizers said a smaller, more intimate celebration can be the right fit for a holiday honoring those who fell in defense of the country.

“The big, major elephant in the room is the St. Clair Shores parade, which lasts for hours and is the big parade in the area,” said Belz. “We want people to know we’re here and we offer a more local celebration.”

“I think that this is a local parade and that sets it apart. It’s a celebration of just the Eastpointe and Roseville communities,” said Truesdale.

The parade organizers hope the Eastpointe and Roseville communities will turn out to enjoy the parades and pay their respects to those who have served and have sacrificed in the military.

“We want people to know this is their hometown parade,” Belz said. “We want people to come down to see it and for them to know it’s open to anyone. It’s their parade, and they can take part with their church, their business or whatever.”

“This is an important part of our story to honor those who have served our country and to thank them for the freedoms we have because of them,” Truesdale said. “We should thank our veterans each and every day.”

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