Due to the COVID-based cancelation of the 2020 Memorial Day Parade, the city of Sterling Heights has planned a series of events during the week preceding Memorial Day to recognize and honor local veterans.
Many events are collaborative and designed to engage all ages of our community in a safe way that observes proper social distancing.
The calendar of events includes:
- Tuesday, May 19 – Local veteran and 2021 Memorial Day Parade Grand Marshal Sharron Allen will be performing a “Storytime” Video for the Public Library. She will read a children’s book about valor, which was to be this year’s parade theme.
- Wednesday, May 20 –The City encourages residents of all ages to submit a family photo or share a photo of their favorite veteran or military service person. Once all the pictures are received, they will be combined into a mosaic of a full, finished piece of collaborative public art that will be unveiled via social media on this day. The final image will be selected by the Sterling Heights Arts Commission, and the mosaic will be built with the help of Stephen Couchman, President & CEO, Live Picture.
- Thursday, May 21 – The City will host a virtual storytelling Facebook event where resident veterans are encouraged to share a story about “valor.” Stories can be viewed in the Facebook event as well as on SHTV. The video story that receives the most likes and shares story will receive $50 in “Farmers Market Bucks” which can be used with any vendor when Dodge Park Farmers Market re-opens.
- Friday, May 22 – The City will broadcast a video interview on social media and SHTV with local veteran Greg Bowman who was Grand Marshal for the 2017 Memorial Day Parade.
- Saturday, May 23 – The City encourages residents to submit “shout outs” to their favorite “health care heroes” who have exemplified tremendous valor on the front lines during this current pandemic.
- Sunday, May 24 – The City will broadcast a brief virtual “ceremony” to raise the American and Purple Heart flags in front of the Community Center. The broadcast will be featured during a Facebook “watch party” at 7 pm so all residents can experience the ceremony together.
- Monday, May 25 - MEMORIAL DAY – The City encourages resident veterans who are interested to participate in a short “drive by” caravan celebration along with members of Sterling Heights City Council and Sterling Heights Police and Fire Departments. Participants will join the caravan to wave and honk their horns throughout the pre-determined route to recognize and honor those who died in the line of duty. The “drive by” celebration will last approximately 20 minutes and is limited to the first 20 participants. Those interested should contact Melanie Davis at email@example.com or 586-446-2471 for details on time and location. The City plans to capture this event on video for broadcast on SHTV and social media.
“The Sterling Heights Memorial Day Parade has come to be a perennial favorite in our community, and we were incredibly sad to have to cancel this year’s event,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor. “However, I’m equally proud to see the creativity among our residents and staff who, in lieu of the parade, have developed some novel ways to recognize and celebrate our local veterans and honor those who paid the ultimate price with their lives while serving their country.”