It is with heavy hearts that Zeeland Festivals, Inc. had to make the unimaginable decision to cancel the Zeeland Memorial Day Parade.
Memorial Day has always been a special day in Zeeland, where the entire community shows up to remember those who have lost their lives for the freedom of our country. In addition to one of Zeeland’s largest annual parades, the Gilbert D. Karsten American Legion Post traditionally hosts a Memorial Day Ceremony in the Zeeland Cemetery to honor the 713 servicemen and women from Zeeland who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
The Annual Memorial Day Ceremony includes a procession of veterans and elected officials, a welcome by the Officer of the Day, National Anthem, prayer, the reading of the roll of names of deceased Zeeland veterans, a Memorial Day Address, Memorial Day wreath presentation, gun salute, and the playing of Taps. It is a ceremony that the community treasures and looks forward to each year.
But this year, due to Covid-19 and the inability to gather in groups, the Zeeland community will celebrate Memorial Day, from the safety of our own homes. We will honor those who have served, are serving, or gave the ultimate sacrifice while in service to our country. The Gilbert D. Karsten American Legion Post and Zeeland Festivals, Inc. have pre-recorded a private 2020 Memorial Day Ceremony; this effort was made possible by a contribution from Request Foods and DP Creative Audio and Video LLC.
The community is invited to join, from home, by viewing the pre-recorded Memorial Day Ceremony on the Zeeland Festivals Facebook page (www.facebook.com/zeelandfestivalsinc) or the City of Zeeland website www.cityofzeeland.com on the morning of Memorial Day.
Although canceling our in-person celebrations was a difficult decision, Zeeland Festivals, Inc. is encouraging community members to consider these 6 ways to honor and remember servicemen and women on Memorial Day:
1. Watch the Zeeland Memorial Day Ceremony on the Zeeland Festivals Facebook page, or City of Zeeland website Memorial Day morning.
2. Walk through the Zeeland Cemetery and observe the many American flags next to the graves of our veterans.
3. Listen closely for the local church bells to ring at 9:00 AM.
4. Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance by pausing for 1 minute at 3:00 PM on Memorial Day.
5. Decorate your home, bikes or front porches with American Flags or other red, white & blue decor.
6. And we didn’t forget the kids! Print off some activity sheets at (www.cityofzeeland.com/memorialday2020) or pick
them up at City Hall (21 S. Elm Street)