Honoring Generations of Fallen Heroes: Memorial Day Parade 2012
Patch caught up with Dave Sebastian, the Cuyahoga Falls Memorial Day parade committee chairman, for a Q & A to discuss what's in store for attendees on Monday morning.
On Monday, Cuyahoga Falls will host its 80th annual Memorial Day parade, which, over the decades, has become the biggest and oldest parade of its kind in Summit County.
It steps off at 9 a.m. from Portage Trail and Lillis Drive and will head east on Portage Trail, north on Fourth Street to Oakwood Drive and will conclude at Oakwood Cemetery with a remembrance ceremony at 11 a.m..
On Saturday, Patch caught up with Dave Sebastian, the Falls Memorial Day parade committee chairman, who offered an in-depth look at the parade, what's in store for attendees and how the committee intends to honor the fallen.
Patch: What's the committee's mission on Memorial Day?
Sebastian: What the committee does is helps in the preparation and planning for the Memorial Day observance, along with the American Legion and V.F.W. Post 1062, to be sure that we always remember those who gave their all so that we remain free. The city assists where they are needed and firmly supports our troops and those who we are remembering. As inscribed on the Memorial Bench that will be dedicated on Monday: May we always remember.
Patch: Who will be participating in the parade and what's in store for the scores of folks who will line the streets on Monday?
Sebastian: At this time, we have about 105 units that will be in the parade. The parade will first honor those who gave their all. Gold Star Mother Linda Large will represent those lost. Her son Sgt. Bryan Large was killed on 10/3/2005 while serving in Iraq. There will be military veterans who participate ranging from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and descendants from the War of 1812, Daughters of the American Revolution and members of family from the Civil War. There will be numerous car clubs ranging from model T Fords to current models, and numerous community groups.
Patch: It was announced that a C-27J Spartan aircraft would coast over the crowd on Monday morning. Who arranged the plane’s appearance and what do you think it will add to the overall parade experience?
Sebastian: The flyover is one of the things that I do as chairman. There is a process for application for the flyover and securing a unit to support it once approval is given. This year it was accomplished with some help from Sen. Frank LaRose. The flyover is something I think is very special for each and every person not only standing along the parade route but everyone participating in the parade. When the aircraft comes in and flies over the parade route, you'll hear everyone cheering for it and waving to the air crew as they pass over. It's something to be very proud of, not only for our country but for everyone in our mwilitary regardless of the uniform they wear.
Patch: Please offer details on the memorial ceremony that’s planned at Oakwood Cemetery.
Sebastian: This year is the Bicentennial for the City of Cuyahoga Falls and also the 80th year for the Memorial Day parade. We have tried to look at the cities history dating back to the War of 1812 (also 200 year anniversary) to the present War on Terrorism. The City of Cuyahoga Falls has a long history of residents serving our country. There are just over 1,700 veterans buried at Oakwood of which at the veterans section we have two from the Spanish American War, 11 from the War of 1812, 46 from WWI, 209 from WWII, 41 from Korea, 25 from Vietnam, one from Desert Storm and one from Iraq. There will be several displays set up at the chapel at the cemetery for people to look at. Captain John R. Bingaman from the U.S. Coast Guard will be our guest speaker. David Senn (a WWII veteran) is the Grand Marshall for this year’s 80th Memorial Day parade.
Patch: What would you say to those attending who have lost loved ones that served in America's armed forces?
Sebastian: I would say thank you for being there for our country in it’s time of need. Thank you for their sacrifice and thank you to the Families. May we always remember.