Audience asked to bring lawn chairs, follow safety protocols
DEARBORN – Dearborn’s 97-year-old tradition of commemorating Memorial Day will continue in a new way in 2021 with a solemn remembrance ceremony at 7:30 p.m. May 30, followed by a patriotic concert.
The public is invited to the free outdoor program, which will be presented at the Veterans Park and War Memorial in front of Henry Ford Centennial Library, 16301 Michigan Ave. The public is asked to bring their own lawn chairs and to follow safety protocols.
The remembrance ceremony will be in conjunction with the Dearborn Allied War Veterans Council, Dearborn’s longtime partner in hosting Memorial Day events. World War II veterans will receive special acknowledgement during the ceremony.
Concert includes march written for Dearborn WWII soldier
The 60-minute patriotic concert will be performed by the Motor City Brass Band, led by musical director and conductor Craig Strain. Adding meaning to the Sunday night concert will be the premiere of a concert march composed in honor of Staff Sgt. Robert A. Godfrey, who died in World War II and is one of Dearborn’s 347 fallen heroes.
The concert march was composed by Sandor Hendriks, a musician who lives in The Netherlands and who cares for Godfrey’s grave in a military cemetery in that country, a longstanding practice to express gratitude for the sacrifice American soldiers made in Europe. Godfrey served with the 406th Infantry Regiment, 102nd Infantry Division Anti-Tank Company.
Lisa Lark, founder of the Dearborn Memorial Project, had been in contact with Hendriks while researching information on Godfrey. She passed along the piece, called “Angels from the Sky,” to the MCBB.
The MCBB also will play “American Salute,” “God Bless the USA,” “Midway March” and the “Armed Forces Salute.”
347 luminaries honor Dearborn’s War Dead
A meaningful part of the Sunday night commemoration will be the lighting of 347 luminaries lining the border of the Veterans Park and War Memorial, representing Dearborn’s 347 fallen heroes from World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam.
Dearborn’s patriotic tradition
The program will stand in for Dearborn’s Memorial Day Parade, which was cancelled due to safety concerns related to COVID-19. The parade has been presented for 95 years but was cancelled in 2020 and 2021.
For more information on the program, call 313-943-2285 or click here.
For more information on the Motor City Brass Band, click here.
For more information on the Dearborn Memorial Project, click here.
The Dearborn Memorial Project can assist families, organizations and businesses with creating their own tribute to one of the 347 Dearborn people who died in service to their country. A photo and a graphic template can be provided to those wanting to make lawn signs or social media posts featuring an individual from the War Memorial.
Contact Lark at [email protected]