By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
TRENTON – Bands played, flags waved, residents watched and veterans participated as the city celebrated Memorial Day May 27 with a parade down West Road and a ceremony at Veterans Memorial Library.
Fire trucks and police vehicles led the parade, followed by a Wayne County Sheriff’s mounted unit preceding the parade grand marshal, Raul (Roy) Flores, a Vietnam veteran who served from 1965 to 1966 with the Army 39th Combat Engineers.
Numerous veterans and their respective groups joined the parade contingent, whether on foot, on motorcycles, in vehicles or on floats.
Young people – whether Scouts, baseball players, baton twirlers or dancers – walked the route, with children from St. Paul Lutheran Church riding on patriotically decorated bicycles.
The Trenton High School and Arthurs Middle School marching bands played, as did the Plymouth Fife and Drum Corps.
The Taylor Shrine Club Downriver zipped around in their miniature cars, entertaining attendees along the route.
The ceremony, held outside at the Trenton Veterans Memorial Library, featured the talented voices of the Seaway Chorale singing both the Canadian and United States national anthems, as well as “God Bless America.”
Speakers included Mayor Steven Rzeppa, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-6th District), American Legion Post 426 Commander Robert Kamin and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1888 Commander James Dishneau.
Sheri Gramlich of American Legion Post 426 offered the benediction.
A flag ceremony was followed by a rifle salute and taps performed by the American Veterans Honor Guard Rifle Team of American Legion Post 217 of Wyandotte.
Wreaths were placed at the veteran memorial plaza by multiple groups, including: Trenton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1888 and Auxiliary; Vietnam Veterans of America Downriver Post 259; Disabled American Veterans of Trenton; and Post 246 American Legion, Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion and the American Legion Riders.
Also presenting wreaths were representatives from the Trenton Knights of Columbus Council, United Auto Workers Local 372, the Taylor Shrine Club Tin Lizzies, the Trenton Civic Commission, representatives from the GI Joe display and Girl Scout troop 77919.
Six trophies for parade participants were awarded by the Trenton Civic Commission, co-chaired by Joseph Oaks and Peggy Eaton.
The Elton LaBelle Scout Award went to Girl Scout Troop 77525, with the Spirit Award going to the American Legion Riders Post 246.
The Marching Band Award went to the student musicians of Arthurs Middle School, while the Plymouth Fife and Drum Corps received the Marching Unit Award.
The Patriotism Award was bestowed upon the Vietnam Veterans of American Downriver Post 259, with the Civic Commission’s Best Entry Award going to the GI Joe Military Display.