Memorial Day parades canceled in Oceana County.

May 6, 2020

Memorial Day parades canceled in Oceana County.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

Memorial Day parades throughout Oceana County are canceled due to COVID-19.

Officials from all Oceana County communities have confirmed that their annual parades are canceled.

Normally, there are parades in the communities of New Era, Hart, Shelby, Rothbury, Walkerville, Pentwater, Ferry and Hesperia. OCP has received confirmation from all of these communities that there will be no parades this year.

Officials have indicated that US flags will be displayed to honor the fallen heroes, and some communities will have private ceremonies.

Memorial Day is Monday, May 25, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s extension of the Stay Home, Stay Safe order continues through May 28.

The City of Hart and the villages of Shelby and Pentwater issued a joint press release Wednesday, May 6, stating the parades are canceled but asking residents to support local veteran’s organizations.

The following is a statement from Hart City Manager Lynne Ladner, Pentwater Village Manager Chris Brown and Shelby Village Manager Rob Widigan:

Freedom isn’t free, support Oceana County’s veteran’s organizations.

Over the past days and weeks, our community has experienced the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has created differing opinions and disagreements between friends and family members surrounding the restrictions and closures that have happened while attempting to contain this pandemic.

While we may disagree on the restrictions in place, we must remember the veterans of this great nation. We need to honor those that served and offered their lives to ensure that as Americans, we have the right and privilege to agree and disagree with decisions made by our government and protest those decisions.

The VFW posts and American Legion posts throughout Oceana County are organizations that not only support our American veterans but also our communities with their continued service. However, this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these organizations have experienced a devastating loss in their ability to conduct normal fundraising. Annually, these fundraisers include fish frys, bingo, hamburger meals, poppy sales and many other events. The funds raised at these events assist with providing flags for veterans’ graves during Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day and ensure that the veterans’ color guards are available for parades and the honor guard for veterans’ funerals.

With the uncertainty regarding large group gatherings, many of the traditional Memorial Day activities have been canceled. So this year, we want to challenge the community to take a moment to and be grateful for the freedoms and rights that veterans have fought to ensure generation after generation. Honor all American veterans living and passed by donating to one of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars or American Legion posts in Oceana County. Your support now can help remind them that we appreciate their sacrifices. Freedom isn’t free.

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