This year neither rain, cold, nor the dreaded COVID-19 virus will derail an annual Wauseon tradition. Last year — for the first time in over 75 years — the annual Memorial Day parade and service were canceled.
On Monday, May 31, the event returns with Master of Ceremonies Mike Meuth and special speaker Pastor Maryann Reimund.
The parade starts at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Clinton and East Elm streets. It proceeds west, along East Elm Street, to the Wauseon Union Cemetery. The parade will be led by local law enforcement, the Wauseon Fire Department and honor guard, with members of VFW Post 7424 and American Legion Post 265.
At 10 a.m. the service, honoring the sacrifices of those who fought and served in defense of this nation, begins at the cemetery’s war memorial. In case of rain the service will be held in the Wauseon High School’s gymnasium.
Music will be provided by the Wauseon High School Marching Band and WHS Choral. The traditional reading of “In Flander’s Field” will be read by WHS senior Elizabeth Baker, and the “Gettysburg Address” by WHS senior Andrew Eberle.
While Pastor Reimund, herself, is not a veteran, her family has a long history of service in the armed forces, dating back to the Civil War. One member lost his life at Pearl Harbor. She is an emergency medical technician on the Liberty Center Fire Department and drives a bus for the Liberty Center school district.
The local pastor has presided over many military funerals, is active in Blue Star and Gold Star programs, and says she “understands the pain that never leaves with the loss of a child, or family member, in war. I want people to view Memorial Day as not another day off from work, but to truly grasp and its significance. It’s a stoic moment in time, and the very least we can do to honor our fallen heroes.”
Reimund promises her message will “resonate with a lot of people and give credit where it is due.”
Also, a Memorial Day service will be held at Winameg Cemetery at 11 a.m.
In Swanton, the Honor Guard will be conducting a 21-gun salute at seven area cemeteries, the Veterans Memorial on Zeiter Way, and at the Doughboy Statue in Memorial Park.
The Swanton American Legion post on Hallett Avenue will be hosting a free meal for vetereans from 5-7 p.m.