Memorial Day ceremony, parade to remember fallen troops

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published May 24, 2017


The city’s annual remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives while in the U.S. armed forces is returning to Sterling Heights May 29, Memorial Day.

Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool said at a May 3 City Council meeting that the public is invited to the city’s 38th annual Memorial Day activities. The morning will begin with a 9 a.m. ceremony near City Hall, followed by a parade that starts at Dodge Park.

“The theme this year is ‘Honoring Service and Sacrifice,’” Vanderpool said.

According to city officials, the Memorial Day observance draws one of the largest attendance turnouts among the city’s events throughout the year. However, last year’s event offered a different twist when reconstruction work that had been going on along Dodge Park Road forced organizers to alter the parade route.

This year, the usual parade route has been restored, according to Citizen Services Specialist Karen Kazmer. Marchers, musicians and floats will start at Dodge Park, proceed to Utica Road and then head south along Dodge Park Road until they reach Heritage Junior High School, near Metropolitan Parkway, she said.

As in years prior, the Great Lakes Chorus of Sweet Adelines International will sing, and the 1st Michigan Colonial Fife and Drum Corps is expected to play at the ceremony. Veterans groups such as American Legion Post 326, VFW Post 6250 and the Korean War Veterans Association will be represented, Kazmer said.

The Memorial Day parade is expected to stay “basically the same as years past,” she said.

“I think we have seven bands and the Shriners and many Scouting troops and churches, and that includes floats,” she explained. “They’re decorated to coincide with our theme.”

Kazmer said the Sterling Heights Arts Commission selected Greg Bowman as the parade’s grand marshal.

“He is a veteran. He had a two-year tour of duty in Vietnam, from 1967 to 1969, and he’s an active 45-year member of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154,” she said.

Sterling Heights city offices and the 41-A District Court will be closed May 29. Garbage pickup will not occur that day, thus delaying the collection schedule by one day that week, officials said.

The 38th annual Sterling Heights Memorial Day Parade will take place at 10 a.m. May 29 at Dodge Park, 40620 Utica Road in Sterling Heights. A 9 a.m. Memorial Day ceremony will take place at the Richard J. Notte City Center, located near Utica Road and Dodge Park Road, in the courtyard between City Hall and the Police Department.

Find out more information about Sterling Heights by visiting or by calling (586) 446-2489.