Honoring military heroes on Memorial Day

by Dan Holland

Hundreds of area residents turned out for the Broadview Heights Memorial Day Parade on May 27, lining a parade route along Broadview Road, with the procession moving south from the Crossings Shopping Center to the city campus. A memorial service honoring U.S. military personnel lost in battle, held at the city amphitheater, immediately followed the parade.

The service opened with a posting of the colors by local Boy Scout Troop 810, followed by a singing of the National Anthem by Raine Austen. Reverend John King of Brecksville United Church of Christ – a military veteran – delivered the invocation.

U.S. Army veteran Dale Canter, a two-time Purple Heart recipient, delivered a speech of reflection on his service during the Vietnam War. Army veteran Carmen Matteo read the names of U.S. military service members from Broadview Heights who died in the nation’s conflicts, which was followed by a gun salute by members of Catholic War Veterans Post 1812.

A bagpipe solo of “Amazing Grace” played by Patrick Coleman, which included a ceremonial releasing of doves, was followed by a rendition of “America the Beautiful” played by the Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School and North Royalton High School marching bands.

The ceremony concluded with city officials and residents lining up to personally thank military veterans –all seated in the front row – for their service.

“Today is the most solemn of holidays – Memorial Day,” Mayor Sam Alai said. “The reason we have the freedoms to do what we want in this country is because of the sacrifices of so many service members – 1.1 million going back to the Revolutionary War – that laid down their lives so we can gather like this today; to marry who we want, to worship where we want or not, and to do the things we want to do because of their sacrifice. As Americans, we should all be celebrating this today. It’s not about picnics or car shows; it’s about remembering those who lost their lives in defense of our freedom.” ∞

Several Scout troops, including the Indian Princesses, marched in this year’s parade.

Photo (main / above): A handful of local veterans rode in the community’s military veteran float. Photos by Dan Holland.