MINFORD—Residents lined the parade route in Minford to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice this Memorial Day.
For the past two years, Minford’s Memorial Day parade was sidelined due to COVID concerns. However, Minford’s Volunteer Fire Department worked hard this year to make sure that the town was able to acknowledge veterans and service members together.
Spectators began settling along the parade route early, eager to make up for lost time. Lisa Slusher, a local resident whose child participated in the parade, was happy to show her support along the route.
“I think it’s an honor to have them march for all the sacrifices that people have done. I think it’s great to support our country and to show our respect for all those who serve and continue serving,” she said.
Slusher added that while the weekend offered many parades and ceremonies all over the county, she appreciated one being held so close to home. “I think it’s great when small communities can put something [like this] together so that everyone can participate. It keeps us united. And I like it that it’s all right here in our hometown.”
The parade featured engines and vehicles from local police as well as the Minford Volunteer Fire Department. Local churches, businesses, Girl Scout troops, as well as the Minford High School cheerleaders and the marching band also showed their support, alongside several River Days candidates.
Rocky Ray, a senior in Minford’s marching band, said that her last Memorial Day parade as a student felt bittersweet, but was eager to express her gratitude. She and the other upperclassmen are helping students new to the program understand how important Memorial Day services are to the community.
“I feel like it’s a really good experience because we get to honor all of the people who have passed, and also kind of bring in a new year with new students to show them what it all means. These kids work so ridiculously hard, it makes me emotional. I’ve never seen such a close knit group of kids,” she said.
The parade route extended along a portion of State Route 139 and ended in Bennett Cemetery. A service from the members of the American Legion James Irwin Post 622 followed, reminding those in attendance about the importance of the hallowed occasion.
Brian Caudill, an Air Force veteran and a member of American Legion Post 622, served in the military until 2012. He delivered the remarks which followed in Bennett Cemetery. His wife Carrie, an Air Force veteran herself, laid a wreath to honor those veterans who lost their lives.
Caudill was thrilled to see such a large community turnout. A member of Minford High School’s Class of 1996, Caudill has long been a member of Minford’s tight knit community.
“It’s an honor to be able to be a part of this [ceremony]. It’s great to have a wonderful turnout, and hopefully, this will continue to grow year to year, especially for the small town that we have. It’s nice to be able to come together as a small community to put this on and to show our appreciation for those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.
Given the strong presence of local children, both in the parade and as spectators, Caudill hoped that future generations will continue to learn about the importance of observing the holiday.
“It’s great. I hope that they understand the reason that today is what it is. For that younger generation, especially those born after 9-11, I hope they understand what people do to protect our freedom and to give them the opportunities that they have,” he said.
In what US Navy veteran Joseph Stockham described as a “humble remembrance day,” the Minford community came together with spectators and participants of all ages to express their appreciation and gratitude to military veterans. For Caudill and Stockham, it’s a tradition that they hope to see grow within the community year after year.
Reach Kasie McCreary at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931, or by email at [email protected]
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