The Eastpointe Memorial Day parade will take place this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Naval Sea Cadets from the Detroit Division carried the U.S. flag and the state flag during Eastpointe’s Memorial Day parade May 28, 2018.

The Eastpointe Memorial Day parade will take place this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Naval Sea Cadets from the Detroit Division carried the U.S. flag and the state flag during Eastpointe’s Memorial Day parade May 28, 2018.

File photo by Erin Sanchez


Eastpointe to move forward with 2021 Memorial Day parade

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published March 25, 2021

 Safety precautions such as mask wearing and social distancing will be in place to help improve the safety of attendees at this year’s Eastpointe Memorial Day parade. This child brought patriotic flair to the parade in 2018.

Safety precautions such as mask wearing and social distancing will be in place to help improve the safety of attendees at this year’s Eastpointe Memorial Day parade. This child brought patriotic flair to the parade in 2018.

File photo by Erin Sanchez

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EASTPOINTE — After a year of events being canceled and people being forced to stay indoors and isolated, public events are finally beginning to return. This includes the Eastpointe Memorial Day parade.

The parade will take place at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, with staging for the parade beginning at 10 a.m.

“We have a Memorial Day Committee that’s got some City Council members and other community members on it, and we met and we started planning it and we were waiting to see what happens,” said committee member Chris Causley. “There was a lot of interest and people want to get out again and it’s an outdoor event. It seems like things are getting better and we can still social distance.”

Safety measures against COVID-19 still have to be in place, and this means that the parade will not be accompanied by its other local Memorial Day events.

“We usually have a ceremony and picnic at the end, and we won’t be planning that,” Causley said. “It will just be the parade, so people don’t have to gather. Hopefully, we will be able to bring those back in 2022.”

2021 also will be the first year that the parade will use a new route through the community, avoiding the busy Gratiot Avenue thoroughfare.

“The proposed route will be down Stephens Road, starting at the (Michigan Military Technical & Historical Society) Museum at Stephens (Road) and Gratiot, and ending at Spindler Park,” Causley explained. “This way, we won’t have to close down Gratiot Avenue like the old route did. The new route makes it cheaper, since we don’t have to mess with traffic on Gratiot.”

Local leaders expressed their support for the return of the parade after a difficult and frustrating year.

“Here in Eastpointe, we have long-standing traditions and take pride in our parades and events here,” Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens said in an email. “These events have been a part of our community for years. They have brought families together, neighbors were able to meet neighbors and businesses were highlighted and showcased. This pandemic has slowed some of these unforgettable moments down, but it has not taken them away.”

She added that keeping safety precautions in place is crucial and the only way the community will be able to return to some sense of normalcy.

“My first priority to our residents is their safety, and having certain events in a pandemic, I can’t promise that safety. Safety determines my judgment on moving forward with any event this year,” wrote Owens. “Eastpointe will get back to some normalcy, but we have to take extreme measures to do that. With God’s help, we’ll accomplish this together.”

Details are still being worked out for the parade, but organizers said they want to focus on Operation Desert Storm since it is the 30th anniversary of the conflict.

“We haven’t yet named a grand marshal, but we are talking with some people,” Causley said. “This is the 30th anniversary of Desert Storm, so we are considering a veteran from that conflict. Because it’s the anniversary and Desert Storm doesn’t get talked about that much, we figured we would highlight those veterans. It is the day when we commemorate the service members who were killed in action from Michigan.”

Causley stressed that recognizing Memorial Day is important, and he is glad the logistics allowed for the parade to be hosted this year.

“I think it’s important to remember the cost of war and the cost of defending this country,” he remarked. “We need to commemorate the people who didn’t come home.”

Those wishing to participate or contribute can do so by contacting the Michigan Military Technical and Historical Society, of which Causley is the director.

“If people want to contribute, they can contact the museum,” he said. “We are discussing starting a designated group organizing parades in Eastpointe, but until that is formalized, the easiest thing to do is contact us directly.”

The museum’s phone number is (586) 872-2581. Emails also can be sent to parade@mimths.org.

Causley and the other organizers want people to remember that, though events such as the parade are returning, health and safety protocols still have to be followed.

“Use common sense — be respectful and considerate to your fellow citizens during this very unusual time while watching the parade,” said Causley.

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