Dexter Rotary Club Will Organize 2013 Memorial Day Parade

Club members are inviting local groups and veterans to march in the annual parade through downtown Dexter.

The village of Dexter's longstanding Memorial Day festivities will continue this year under the umbrella leadership of a new organization.

The Dexter Village Council approved an application from the Rotary Club to conduct a parade and ceremony on May 27 at its meeting on Monday.

The club is taking over planning of the event from American Legion Post 557. Legion members informed the village in January of their intent to scale back sponsorship of the Memorial Day parade.

Rotary member Steve Feinman said in the coming weeks, club members will reach out to local organizations and civic groups interested in participating in this year's parade.

"We want to work with any group that wants to walk in the parade," Feinman said. "We'd like to see more community participation overall. Memorial Day is not just about remembering those who died, but also remembering those who fought in all wars, and what they fought for — preserving the freedom our community enjoys."

In an effort to refocus the event on local veterans, some community groups were excluded from participating in the parade last in year, a decision Feinman said Rotary members will evaluate for this year's event.

"We will have some restrictions, but we want those groups who represent our community to feel welcome in the parade," he said.

Addressing concerns that the parade is too long, Feinman said he disagrees.

"What's too long if people are interested in participating?" he said. "When I moved to Dexter in 2008, the first thing I saw was the community come together for the Memorial Day parade. It was like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting. (The Rotary Club) believes it is necessary and important to preserve that tradition in Dexter."

The parade will run down Main Street, ending on Alpine Street. Feinman said following the parade, a program will be held at the gazebo in Monument Park.

Groups interested in participating in the parade can send an e-mail to drmd2013@mindspring.com or follow news about the parade on the Dexter Memorial Day Facebook page as as well as on Patch.com.

Guidelines for this year's parade will be posted online by the end of February.

Shawn Letwin January 30, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars (source-Wikipedia). The most appropriate place to honor the traditions of the Memorial Day parade is at the curb; not in the street. The 4th of July parade may be the more appropriate parade for "groups who represent our community" to be in the street and celebrate; and have that Norman Rockwell feeling. We also have a second parade during Dexter Daze for "groups who represent our community". I guess two of three parades in Dexter isn't enough for the groups who represent our community". I guess I was celebrating a different tradition than what the Rotary Club will. Maybe Norman Rockwell needs to be photo shopped to match the 21st Dexter perspective; a tradition started over 150 years ago to singularly honor those fallen service men and women who had served in the armed forces. Welcome to the new Dexter tradition. The Dexter Difference. p.s. Thank you to the men and women of the American Legion who continue to stand with honor and pride in trying to preserve a tradition celebrated with one singular purpose for over 150 years throughout the US!
long life dexter residence January 31, 2013 at 02:48 AM
I also agree with Shawn its a shame that a parade that should be for all who served died or alive will be shoved to the curb. We do have so many parades that the whole community is in...so really Thank you American Legion for all you do for the community with no strings attach...
Laura Jones January 31, 2013 at 02:00 PM
"What's too long if people are interested in participating?" In answer to that question, and assuming the selection process is still ongoing: The problem is not with groups that wish to honor vets. The problem is with advertising in the guise of parade participation. I can see opening the parade for civic organizations but not for simple commercial marching. We have other parades suitable for that. We live in a time when those who have fought and the families of those who have died from no less than 6 wars are with us. In each of those wars successively, a fewer percentage of the population has fought. Those who made that sacrifice should be suitable honored, and the dead and missing remembered. Whatever is done, I hope that the question will be asked 'is this fitting' when those people are recalled.
Quaila Pant January 31, 2013 at 02:25 PM
I am very grateful for the Dexter Rotary to take on the Memorial Day Parade this year. This is a wonderful way to remember my father who has just past by joining the Rotarty Club committee with anything they may need. Looking forward to it!
Amos Walker January 31, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Mr. Feinman's comments are exactly what I wanted to hear. He will be missed on the Dexter Township board. Too long? I have never felt anything other than the parade was too short.


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