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Memorial Day events to salute fallen soldiers

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published May 22, 2018

 The Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps makes an appearance during Royal Oak’s Memorial Day ceremony last year.

The Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps makes an appearance during Royal Oak’s Memorial Day ceremony last year.

File photo by Donna Dalziel

 Cora Hill, 3, of Royal Oak, and Audrey Berry, 3, of Clawson, enjoy the Royal Oak Memorial Day Parade last year.

Cora Hill, 3, of Royal Oak, and Audrey Berry, 3, of Clawson, enjoy the Royal Oak Memorial Day Parade last year.

File photo by Donna Dalziel

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ROYAL OAK/CLAWSON — On Monday, May 28, both Royal Oak and Clawson will hold events in observance of Memorial Day. The holiday is held to remember those who died protecting their country.

Royal Oak will hold its annual Memorial Day parade, which will be followed by a ceremony at the city’s war memorial. Clawson will hold a ceremony at the gazebo in Memorial Park, next to the Blair Memorial Library.

Royal Oak’s parade will begin at 9 a.m. on Main Street at Lincoln Avenue. Due to construction, the route will travel north and hang a right onto Third Street instead of Second Street, as it has in the past.

“We’ll be turning off at Third and going right past the Police Department and City Hall, then we’ll be turning left onto Troy, and after that, those attending the ceremony will pull in by the war memorial right by the library,” said parade chair David London.

London said 50 groups will march in the parade, led by police and fire and followed by all of the veterans groups. New additions include Arabian horses bringing up the rear of the parade, and a 70-foot flag carried by the Royal Oak Football Club, he said.

This year, the parade has two grand marshals: James McClory, a 94-year-old World War II Navy veteran and lifelong Royal Oak resident; and Carol Hennessey, a Royal Oak Memorial Society member and the former longtime chair of the parade committee. Hennessey will preside with her husband, Bob, an armed services veteran.

“All are welcome at the parade,” London said. “Our intention is to create a day to really bring us back to why we’re here in the first place, which is to memorialize those who gave their lives to their country and to make this as inclusive, positive, uplifting and humble as possible.”

London added that the parade will not allow candy this year, as it poses a safety hazard for children who run into the road, nor will it allow political leafleting. 

The ceremony at the Royal Oak war memorial will begin at 10:15 a.m. with an invocation by the Rev. Preston Boyd, of the Mitcham Chapel AME Church, and remarks from keynote speaker Harry “Les” Croyle, former Veterans of Foreign Wars state commander. It will also include the laying of a wreath, live music, a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps.

London encouraged attendees of the Royal Oak Memorial Day events to post their photos and videos to social media using the hashtag #ROmemorialday and to share their personal stories of fallen service members.

The Clawson Memorial Day ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. The Blair Memorial Library is located at 416 N. Main St., north of West 14 Mile Road.

“Someone from the (American Legion) will be there, so please come and show your respect,” Clawson Mayor Deborah Wooley said. “The Boy Scouts as well will be there to show our respect for those that have served us.”

For more information about the Royal Oak events, call (248) 246-3000. For more information about Clawson’s event, call (248) 435-4500.

 

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