Memorial Day is a time to honor those who gave their lives in military service to our country, but it wasn't always that way. The tradition began after the Civil War, for honoring soldiers of both sides who had died. After World War I, the tradition was changed to honor all those Americans who died fighting in any war. It was officially made a holiday in 1971, giving us the three day weekend that has come to be associated with the beginning of summer, store sales, and barbecues. In recent years, communities have returned to the roots of this holiday, and it has regained some of the solemn feel of its origins. Oz has several parades and ceremonies to attend -- here are the details:
Fredonia The Warren Kane American Legion Post 410 will hold a ceremony at Veterans Park at 9 a.m., with performances by the NOSD band, as well as musician Ann Weiss. Three World War II Veterans will be honored at the ceremony: Norm Jagow, Ken Hypki and Virgil Weinreich. Te guest speaker will be Jim Salamone, a formor Ozaukee High School band teacher.
Belgium Memorial Day will begin with Mass at 8:30 a.m. at St. Mark's Lutheran Church at 200 Park St. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. on Main St. at East Lane, followed by a program at Community Park at 11 a.m., located at 106 Beech St. The key speaker will be Graham Knowlton Ph.D., the lead suicide prevention coordinator at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee. A cookout will be held afterwards by the American Legion Melvin Wester Post 412.
Saukville The Landt-Thiel American Legion Post 470 will hold a prayer service at Union Cemetery at 8 a.m., then lead the parade which begins at 9 a.m. from nearby Riverside Park and ends at Veterans Park on East Green Bay Ave. for a ceremony. Lunch will be served following the ceremony at the Legion Post at 601 S. Dekora St.
Port Washington The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. from Wisconsin and Main Streets, and continues along Grand Ave. to Veterans Park on the lakefront for a program, where the Port Washington High School and Thomas Jefferson Middle School Band will play patriotic songs, along with a performance by PWHS's a cappella group, Limited Edition. Jim Johnson, the American Legion District 2 Commander and the Ozaukee County Sheriff, will be the key speaker. The Van Ells-Schanen American Legion Post 82 will provide hot dogs and ice-cream at the club house across from the park following the program.
Grafton The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Grafton American Legion Rose Harms Post 335 and continue to Veteran's Memorial Park for a ceremony at 11 a.m.. A luncheon will be served at the Legion Hall following the ceremony.
Cedarburg The Cedarburg American Legion will hold their annual parade, starting at 9 a.m. from Firemen's Park. The parade will be followed by a ceremony at the Peter Wollner Post 288 located at W57 N481 Hilbert Ave. Everyone is invited.
Mequon/Thiensville The Howard J. Schroeder American Legion Post 457 will lead teh parade beginning at 10 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, and continuing to Mequon City Hall for a ceremony.
Happy Memorial Day, everyone.