BURTON, MI — After a year in which the city’s festivities were put on hold due to the pandemic, the City of Burton held its annual Memorial Day Parade to honor veterans and for the community to gather together to celebrate.

“This has so many meanings that it’s hard to express them all,” said City of Burton Mayor Duane Haskins. “But the most important meaning to this is all of our veterans that sacrificed their life for our freedoms that we are obviously involved with today. I’m just so excited to see everybody out here and being involved and participating in the city of Burton festivities because it’s not just the city of Burton, this is for the whole community.”

A horde of cars, trucks towing decorated trailers behind them, an old classic trolley, and demolition derby cars all lined up in a single-file line on Center Road, near Atherton Road, to make their way to City Hall.

The parade began just after two p.m. and was lead by a horse carriage in which the grand Marshall sat in. Behind the grand Marshall followed a World War II veteran who happily waved back to the crowd.

Officers from the Genesee County Sheriff Department were close behind marching along with heavy footsteps, while other officers circled around them on their motorcycles.

The parade featured a wide variety of community businesses, all whom were pleased to throw out candy to all the children lined up on the side of the street that waved to each and every one of the vehicles in the demonstration.

This year’s Memorial Day Parade marked the 25th anniversary of the city’s annual celebration. The annual parade was canceled last year due to the ongoing pandemic.

“To be able to have our 25th (anniversary) this year, after being locked down and closed up, this is where the huge significance comes,” Haskins said. “To have this come out in this fashion, to be able to see people out and about enjoying themselves, I mean the significance behind this is just so great that words couldn’t even put it into play.”

Parade participant David Wallace, Vice Flotilla Commander of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, emphasized the importance of the day by saying that if it weren’t for those veterans that gave up their lives for everyone, “we wouldn’t have the country that we have.”

“Memorial Day is a time to honor those who went before us, served and sacrificed to make sure we have the freedoms that we have today,” Wallace said. “We couldn’t have the freedoms to have a parade like this, or have a get-together and be able to enjoy each other’s company.”

Firetrucks from Burton, Clio, and the surrounding cities in Genesee County, along with paramedic and police department emergency vehicles were at the tail end of the parade, signaling the end of the parade. The parade ended with the convoy of vehicles gathering up at city hall, where other festivities took place to continue honoring and celebrating veterans.

“When you think of these brave men and women that sacrificed their life so that we could have freedoms today, and to be able to come out, and be free, for everything that they did for us, sacrificing their lives, it means so much more today then it did last year,” Haskins said.

Other Memorial Day events taking place in the City of Burton following parade:

  • Car Show – 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Children’s Fun Zone – 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Memorial Ceremony (Veteran’s Memorial Park) – 4 p.m.
  • Johnny Vance Band & Melissa Hagar (Band/Comedian Duo) – 5 p.m.
  • Scream ‘N’ Rebels (Vintage War Bird Flyover) – 8 p.m.
  • Ceremony and Candle Light Vigil (Veteran’s Memorial Park) – 8:30 p.m.
  • Fireworks – Dusk

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