As they have for nearly three decades, residents of Ann Arbor’s Glacier neighborhood paid tribute on Memorial Day to soldiers who lost their lives serving this country.
The Monday morning event is the only Memorial Day parade in Ann Arbor. Though it includes some of the usual parade fare – a fire truck, drum corps and people campaigning for elected office – it’s a relatively low-key affair that winds through this east side neighborhood of wide, tree-lined streets and ends up at Glacier Highlands Park.
There, more than 200 people converged to stand quietly during a brief ceremony. A trumpeter played “Taps,” a bagpiper played “Amazing Grace,” and resident Stephen Landes made brief remarks, thanking soldiers for their service, and for “your dedication to our country and to your comrades here or in our thoughts.”
To a silent crowd, Landes read a list of Michigan residents who were killed while serving in the military over the past year and who received flag honors from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. Jim Mitchiner, who had carried the American flag at the head of the parade, then retired the colors.
After the ceremony, Girl Scouts sold water to raise money for a trip to Switzerland, and the Optimist Club passed out red, white and blue popsicles. A table was set up in the park for people to make cards that will be sent to military personnel serving overseas – this year’s goal was to make 100 cards.
Here’s a chronicling of this neighborhood tradition, which is hosted by the Glacier Area Homeowners’ Association and the Ann Arbor Breakfast Optimist Club.