By SUE SUCHYTA
DEARBORN – Sunshine and blue skies provided welcoming weather for the city’s 97th Memorial Day Parade and ceremony, which was moved to the west side due to east side Michigan Avenue construction.
Prior to the parade, at 9:30 a.m., a horse-drawn caisson carried the cremains of two military veterans to the McFadden-Ross House grounds, honoring U.S. Army Pfc. Patrick Lee McClain (May 25, 1940 to Dec. 23, 2017), who served from March 21, 1969, to March 19, 1971, and U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David Franklin Smith (March 14, 1947 to Jan. 1, 2023), who served from June 30, 1967, to July 3, 1968 in the U.S. Marine Corps.
The parade, which began at 10 a.m., followed Michigan Avenue east of Outer Drive to Brady Street, where parade participants ended their route near the Dearborn Historical Museum McFadden-Ross House.
Police Department, police cadet and Fire Department honor guards marched the route, along with two impressive fire engines and a cadre of smiling local elected officials.
Dearborn native Capt. Maysaa M. Ouza of the United States Air Force served as the parade grand marshal.
Ouza, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in 2013 from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, received her Juris Doctor degree cum laude in 2016 at the University of Toledo College of Law.
She has served in the U.S. Air Force since 2018 and currently serves as a victims’ counsel at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, as well as at Grissom Air Reserve Base in Indiana and at Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Ohio.
The parade offered eight bands, including the Governor’s Own 126th Army Band and marching bands from Edsel Ford, Dearborn and Divine Child high schools and from Stout, O.L. Smith, STEM and Bryant middle schools.
In an interesting and entertaining twist, the Fordson High School string ensemble played along the parade route while seated in a towed trailer.
Veteran groups were well-represented as well, and included the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapters 267 and 259, the Civil Air Patrol Michigan Wing Squadron 183, the Marine Corps League Dearborn Detachment 152, the U.S. Coast Guard and Auxiliary and the Michigan Veterans Association.
Other participating groups include the General Henry Dearborn Am Vets Post 4, American Legion Fort Dearborn Post 364, the University of Michigan Student Veterans Association, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War – Camp 427, the Montford Point Marine Corps League Detachment 158, the American Legion Riders Chapter 364, the Veteran Affairs Readjustment Counseling Services Veteran Center and Wayne County Veteran Services.
Scouts and service clubs were well-represented, as were William Ford Elementary School and the Miller Elementary School Kindness Club.
Following the parade, a Memorial Day ceremony was held on the grounds of the Dearborn Historical Museum McFadden-Ross House.
The Edsel Ford High School band played “The Star-Spangled Banner,” as well as a medley of anthems from the different branches of the country’s military service.
Talented young Dearborn singer Maria Saad sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.”
The Dearborn Allied War Veterans Council performed the rituals, with Commander Scott Rumfield serving as the Master of Ceremony, and Phillip Smith, 2022 DAWVC Veteran of the Year and Rick Neveu, DAWVC chaplain and commander of the ritual team.
Ouza and Mayor Abdullah Hammoud and Parade Grand spoke, as well, with Ouza and Smith laying a memorial wreath at the base of the flag pole.