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Memorial Day Parade organizers encourage youth participation
Kids can decorate a bicycle, wagon, stroller or scooter and join in showing community spirit and patriotism at West Chester’s annual Memorial Day Parade!
New this year, organizers with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7696 invite children ages 12 and under to ride in the annual parade. The new “Kids on Wheels” initiative allows young families to demonstrate respect, remembrance and reverence for our nation’s servicemen and women in the true spirit of the holiday.
As always, all community members are invited to set up chairs or a blanket and watch the parade with friends and neighbors on Cincinnati Dayton Road. The parade begins at 10 a.m. Monday, May 27, followed by a ceremony at Brookside Cemetery on West Chester Road.
PARADE REGISTRATION & ROUTE
The Memorial Day Parade promotes a family-friendly atmosphere and is intended to pay tribute to those who serve our country. All participants must agree to follow the guidelines and rules set forth by VFW Post 7696.
- Parade participants should read rules and register here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b094faba922a4f85-2019
- “Kids on Wheels” participants should read rules and register here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b094faba922a4f85-tykes
The parade will take its flipped route for a second consecutive year in order to accommodate construction on the Olde West Chester Improvement Project. Parade participants start at the intersection of Aviation Way and Dimmick Road and go north on Cincinnati-Dayton Road then west on West Chester Road to the cemetery.
Spectators may line either side of Cincinnati Dayton and West Chester roads near Township Hall, Fire Headquarters, Eagle Tee and United Dairy Farmers. Please use caution as police officers will wait to close roads until the parade begins at 10 a.m.
A presentation honoring those who have served and those who continue to serve in the military immediately follows the parade at the cemetery where more than 700 veterans, including 100 who served in the Civil War and one who served in the Revolutionary War, are among those buried.
Jerry Nelson is recognized as this year’s parade grand marshal. Mr. Nelson, who served in the Army during the Vietnam War, was one of two people chosen for Butler County’s Veterans of the Year award in 2018.
Mr. Nelson enlisted in 1966, functioning as a combat medic, a biological scientist and a specialist in the medical services corps. He received the Service Commendation Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Sharpshooter Medal. Mr. Nelson is the founding commander of the West Chester American Legion Post 681 and known locally for his work with Lakota Local Schools students.
Serving as guest speaker is retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel Jennifer Gross, a current member of American Legion Post 681 and VFW Post 7696, becoming the latter’s first active female inductee in February. Mrs. Gross served as a flight nurse in the Bosnian conflict, was the flight nurse on call when casualties were called in for the Battle of Mogadishu and served in Saudi Arabia, in Operation Desert Storm.
Mrs. Gross earned degrees from the University of Missouri and the University of Cincinnati and has practiced medicine for 15 years as a family nurse practitioner. She and her husband Chris live in West Chester with their sons, Christian and Joshua.
Parade spectators may park in the designated north lot of Northpointe at Union Centre office park, accessible only from Imagination Way on Union Centre Boulevard; or parking is also available at St. John the Evangelist Church on Cincinnati-Dayton Road.
For more information, visit www.WestChesterOH.org.