Parade, race, ceremony scheduled
By Jim Newell
ORION TWP. — Memorial Day in Orion is a solemn day of remembrance with people from throughout the community joining Orion’s veterans in remembering those U.S. military men and women who died in service to the nation.
The day also includes activities that honor those veterans still with us and celebrates the Orion community by bringing people together.
This year’s activities include the Orion Veterans Memorial Day Run, a wreath ceremony in honor of veterans lost at sea, the annual parade in downtown Lake Orion and the Memorial Day ceremony at 1 p.m. Monday at the Orion Veterans Memorial, 532 S. Broadway St. between Heights Road and Odanah Avenue.
“The 2023 Memorial Day ceremony at the Orion Veterans Memorial on Monday, May 29 will feature an outstanding veteran as keynote speaker,” said JoAnn Van Tassel, secretary of the Orion Veterans Memorial Board of Directors. “Lt. Colonel Cynthia Wright, U.S. Air Force, will relate some of her experiences while serving her country.”
Wright has served in Washington, D.C. and overseas. She was aboard Air Force One with President George W. Bush on Sept. 11, 2001 and “had a unique view of history on that fateful day,” Van Tassel said.
The ceremony will also honor all Lake Orion veterans from the Civil War to the present time who died while in service. A Veteran of the Year will be recognized as will those veterans who have died in the past year.
Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor those who gave all their tomorrows for our todays, and to say thanks to those who served in the armed forces and returned home to build strong communities,” Van Tassel said.
Lost at Sea Wreath Ceremony
Veterans, Sons of the American Legion and Auxiliary members from American Legion Post 233 will hold a ceremony honoring those lost at sea at 10 a.m. in Children’s Park in downtown Lake Orion.
A wreath will be tossed into Paint Creek in symbolic remembrance, followed by a gun salute from the Lake Orion American Legion Post 233 Color Guard.
Memorial Day Parade
The parade begins at 11 a.m. at Blanche Sims Elementary and heads south on Jackson Street, then west on Flint Street and North on Broadway Street in downtown Lake Orion.
Parade-goers can line Flint and Broadway streets to view the parade, which includes military personnel, local scouts and students, community and service organizations and the Lake Orion High School marching band.
This year also features a colorful, creative bicycle parade, with area youth encouraged to decorate their bikes and ride in the parade.
“Lake Orion American Legion Post 233, in coordination with the Lake Orion Dragons Cycling Team, welcomes all school-age bicyclists to decorate their bicycles and join in the annual Memorial Day Parade,” said Bob Gritzinger, commander of the Sons of the American Legion Post 233. “A prize will be awarded for the best decorated bicycle.
While all Lake Orion school-age children are welcome to participate, riders Pre-K through third grade students must be accompanied by a parent and all participants are required to wear a helmet to ride in the parade, Gritzinger said..
Participants should arrive for judging no later than 10:30 a.m. at Blanche Sims Elementary, 465 E. Jackson St. In addition to a prize, the Best Decorated Bicycle will be honored by leading the inaugural Lake Orion Memorial Day Parade Bicycle Brigade.
Memorial Day Run
There is still time to enter the 2023 Orion Veterans Memorial Day Run.
This year’s race will start/finish on Anderson Street adjacent to the Children’s Park parking lot. Each participant will receive an event dog tag at the finish line. Day-of check in is near the start/finish beginning at 8 a.m. The 5-mile run begins at 9 a.m. and the 5k run/walk starts at 9:15 a.m. The course is on the Paint Creek Trail and in parts of Lake Orion.
For more information or to register online, go to https://eastsideracing.enmotive.com.
Proceeds from the Memorial Day Run support the long-term maintenance of the Orion Veterans Memorial.