Shelby Township will hold a live, in-person Memorial Day ceremony at 1:30 p.m. May 30 to honor veterans who died during the pandemic. The ceremony will take place at the Veterans Memorial located just outside the Township Hall.

Shelby Township will hold a live, in-person Memorial Day ceremony at 1:30 p.m. May 30 to honor veterans who died during the pandemic. The ceremony will take place at the Veterans Memorial located just outside the Township Hall.

Photo provided by Shelby Township


Shelby to host in-person Memorial Day event

Ceremony will especially honor veterans who died during pandemic

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published May 24, 2021

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — In honor of all the veterans who have served the country and the veterans who died during the pandemic, Shelby Township will be hosting its first public event since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all public gatherings last year.

The township will be holding an in-person Memorial Day ceremony at 1:30 p.m. May 30 at the Veterans Memorial located just outside the Township Hall at 52700 Van Dyke Ave. Residents, military veterans and families are invited to attend.

Friends, loved ones and the military could not honor veterans who died during the COVID-19 pandemic with traditional military tributes. However, with restrictions lifting, ceremonies can begin resuming. Shelby Township Veterans Events Coordinator Phil Randazzo said that this year’s ceremony will be a chance to celebrate the veterans who died during the pandemic and give families an opportunity to grieve and honor their loved ones.

“We’re going to have the music and ceremony that these brave veterans should have had at the time of their passing,” Randazzo stated in a press release. “Just like we could not gather for our 2020 Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies, the veterans’ families could not gather for their funerals and ceremonies.”

He said there are many families already planning on attending and looking forward to being there.

“I’ve talked to several families that plan to attend the event, and I know they’re looking forward to this opportunity to honor their loved ones, get some closure and join our community in showing our gratitude for their service,” he stated.

Randazzo has coordinated the township’s Memorial Day event for many years with the help of township officials.

The 2021 ceremony will feature an invocation by the Rev. Philip Krist, pastor at Lakeside Assembly of God Church in Shelby Township. The Lakeside Assembly of God choir will sing patriotic songs. There will be a 21-gun salute and a performance of taps during the event.

Vince Viviano, a township trustee, said that the township is known for making the Memorial Day ceremony a very special event for all veterans each year.

“It’s no secret that Shelby Township is a very patriotic and proud community, and many of our residents, past and present, served our great nation. The Memorial Day ceremony is always special as it pays added tribute to the brave soldiers that did not come home to our township. I am grateful that we have a first-class ambassador like Mr. Phil Randazzo to ensure we pay our proper respects to their service and sacrifice,” he said.

Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said he would like to see everyone come out to the ceremony.

“I invite everyone to attend our Memorial Day ceremony as we gather responsibly to honor our veterans and the fallen heroes memorialized at the Shelby Township Veterans Memorial,” Stathakis said in the press release.

“It is always moving to see Mr. Randazzo put together these tributes to our troops and veterans and our fallen heroes. With the added significance of honoring our veterans, who passed during the pandemic, I know Mr. Randazzo will make sure this is a tribute that the families will appreciate and our community will not forget.”

For more information on the event, call the township at (586) 731-5100, Randazzo at (586) 739-4046 or visit www.shelbytwp.org.