Army veteran Tyrone Chatman, of the Michigan Veterans Foundation, salutes the flag next to Southfield Mayor Ken Siver last year at the city’s annual Memorial Day ceremony on the front steps of City Hall.

Army veteran Tyrone Chatman, of the Michigan Veterans Foundation, salutes the flag next to Southfield Mayor Ken Siver last year at the city’s annual Memorial Day ceremony on the front steps of City Hall.

File photo by Deb Jacques


Southfield Memorial Day program to feature veteran tributes

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published May 8, 2019

 Pamela Nelson holds her hand on her heart during last year’s ceremony.

Pamela Nelson holds her hand on her heart during last year’s ceremony.

File photo by Deb Jacques

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SOUTHFIELD — Memorial Day is a time to remember the sacrifices of those who served the U.S., and during the city’s annual ceremony, officials are inviting the community to do just that.

According to Community Relations Director Michael Manion, the city and the Southfield Veterans Commission are seeking veteran tributes for the annual ceremony, slated for 9 a.m. May 24 inside Southfield City Hall, 26000 Evergreen Road.

“The city is working more closely with the Southfield Veterans Commission to include them more in the ceremonies,” Manion said. “We had a planning meeting with the Veterans Commission members where we were just kind of brainstorming new ideas to add new elements to the ceremony to keep them interesting and new.”

Manion said some tributes were given an unofficial trial run during last year’s Veterans Day ceremony, which was well-received.

“We did a bit of a beta testing with the veterans ceremony last year, but it was more spontaneous and not announced in advance,” he said. “Because it was so well-received and so many folks did step up, we wanted to do it in a more formalized setting.”

Those who wish to make tributes are asked to submit the veteran’s name, rank and military branch; a photo of them in uniform; and, if applicable, which conflict they served in. Manion said that information will be displayed on a screen during the live tributes.

The ceremony will also still include the more traditional elements of years past, including the presentation of colors by the Southfield police and fire honor guard, and a 21-gun salute.

“It’s usually a very fitting way to start off the Memorial Day weekend, to pay tribute to the men and women who served our country, especially those who died in service,” Manion said. “The city of Southfield feels strongly that it is important to remember and reflect on all of our veterans.”

Mayor Ken Siver said he appreciates the personal touch the tributes give the gathering.

“The individual tributes make our annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day programs more personal and thus more memorable,” Siver said in an email.

Manion said the tributes are open to anyone who wishes to make one.

For more information or to submit a veteran tribute, contact the Community Relations Department at (248) 796-5130.

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