The rat-a-tat-tat was provided by the Elmhurst Marching Band. It was a glorious Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 26th 2003. The parade started at 9am at the Waynedale United Methodist Church parking lot and proceeded down Old Trail Road past the many on-lookers to Prairie Grove Cemetery.
American Legion Post #241, AMVets #33, VFW #1421, and FOE #248 sponsored the parade this year. The parade meetings were presided by Charlie Rathsack, Commander of American Legion Post #241.
This year’s parade featured Grand Marshal Don Beatty, a survivor of the USS Indianapolis and Master of Ceremonies, Linda Becker, veteran of Vietnam, Desert Storm, Nobel Eagle and Enduring Freedom.
Both Don and Linda gave excellent presentations. Don spoke of the sacrifices and hardships endured by himself and his shipmates during the sinking of his ship in the final days of WWII. Linda profiled what a typical day had been like in the deserts of Iraq, just last year.
As Don placed the ceremonial wreath on the grave of a soldier, Whispering Wings, released 11 doves as a sign of the peace that all Americans strive for. Following the Prairie Grove Ceremony, many of parade attendee’s visited the Waynedale Park. There were free fishing poles for the kids and Karaoke provided by Marie.
Many thanks to the sponsors who continued the long Waynedale tradition of honoring all veterans on this very special occasion.