Reed City, Evart prepare for Memorial Day events
OSCEOLA COUNTY — Memorial Day is the time to remember fallen soldiers, and those in Osceola County who wish to participate in the somber day on Monday, May 25, will have the chance to do so in Reed City and Evart.
Reed City will host its annual Memorial Day Parade, which is slated to begin at 9 a.m. at the Reed City Depot. The route will travel west on Upton Avenue, south on Sears Street, west on Lincoln Avenue and end at Woodland Cemetery, where a brief service will take place and feature the Reed City High School Marching Band and a few speakers to offer words about what the day represents.
"We really try to make it all about the veterans," said Reed City Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Suzie Williams. "We want to make it nice and honor them."
This year's parade is especially unique, as it's the 40th anniversary of the conflict in Vietnam, and Williams said a few new features will be added to mark the day.
The parade will make a stop at the Osceola County Courthouse, where a few words will be said by a local veteran. In addition, the chamber is inviting all veterans to be a part of the parade lineup. Those interested in walking or riding in the event can call Williams at (231) 832-5431. Following the parade and cemetery ceremony, a pot luck lunch will be served at Reed City VFW Post No. 2964, located at 129 E. Osceola Ave.
"It's always nice to change things up a little," Williams said. "Having one of the veterans speak means a lot."
Each year, the event draws hundreds to the streets of Reed City who wish to pay their respects to the soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice and to those veterans who are still alive today.
After the parade, members of Boy Scout Troop No. 74 will host a U.S. flag retirement ceremony at the community fire pit located behind The Reed City Depot. Those who have a flag in need of retirement may bring it to the ceremony.
Memorial Day events also will take place in Evart.
Soldiers will be remembered at a 10 a.m. ceremony at Joseph W. Guyton Park hosted by VFW Post No. 7979 and the Thomas E. Smith AMVETS Post No. 11. Following the ceremony, the veterans will walk down Main Street to the river for a wreath-laying and then to the grave site of Guyton in Forest Hill Cemetery.
"I hope attendees realize what the date really symbolizes," said VFW Post Commander Dave Brickey.
He hopes people understand the sacrifices made by veterans allow everyone to have the freedoms they enjoy every day, such as worshiping where they want, having the choice of where to go to school and more.
"The bottom line is freedom isn't free," Brickey added. "This is a day to celebrate our freedom and democracy."
After the event, members of the public are welcome to join veterans at the VFW post for coffee, doughnuts and fellowship. In addition, the veterans hope to display a video from a Canadian solider about the hardships military men and women face following battle.