DeKalb County residents gather ‘to honor and reflect’ on Memorial Day
After two years without it during the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Memorial Day parade returned Monday to downtown DeKalb.
The parade route was directed west down Locust Street before turning north on Linden Place.
Patti Price of DeKalb stood with her daughters, Sierra and Savannah, watching as the procession paraded the streets of downtown DeKalb. Patti Price said she felt good about attending to help instill a sense of tradition in her children.
“I’ve taken the kids here ever since they were little and now they’re grown,” Price said. “We’ve come every year.”
Savannah Price of DeKalb was excited for the return of the Memorial Day parade. She said she understood why the city of DeKalb—which hosts the parade in conjunction with community partners and area veterans groups—held it off for two years.
“I thought it was sad because of the circumstances,” Savannah Price said. “However, I think it is a great way for people to come out and celebrate and commemorate.”
Mike Frykman, of Cortland, found a spot along Locust Street and set up chairs for his family, including his wife, Amber Frykman, and their daughter, Lia, 6. He said he believes attending Memorial Day ceremonies is important to honor veterans
“Freedoms we have are everyday, they’re not just once a year,” Frykman said.
The Frykmans said Memorial Day brings special meaning to them because they have family members who were veterans.
Amber Frykman said they hope that Lia will understand why it’s important to recognize Memorial Day.
“We talked about this weekend what Memorial Day is and what it means, so it drives home the point of what it’s for,” Amber Frykman said.
Following the parade, a Memorial Day ceremony convened on the Ellwood House lawn.
The program was made possible by the city of DeKalb, FunMe Events, DeKalb Park District and Ellwood House Museum. It included a presentation of colors, performance of the national anthem, invocation, a flag presentation, rifle salute, taps salute, retrieval of colors and keynote remarks.
Michael Embrey, master of ceremonies for the program, shared some sentiments about Memorial Day and what it means to him that rings true for many.
“Memorial Day—it’s a time to honor and reflect those who are no longer with us who worked to serve our country,” Embrey said in his remarks . “It’s a special day for us to honor those people.”