APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – The Appleton Memorial Day Ceremony is taking the place of the traditional Appleton Memorial Day Parade, which was shuttered by uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus.
The virtual program featured a combination of live and recorded elements – poignant speeches and poems delivered by Appleton high school students; remarks from Appleton Mayor Jake Woodford and the master of ceremonies; patriotic music, including live performances from bagpiper Mike Dickinson and the Mid Life Crisis Quartet.
The ceremony concluded in its traditional manner – a rifle salute to our fallen servicemen and women performed by the Appleton American Legion Post 38 honor guard, accompanied by the Appleton VFW Post 2778 color guard. Appleton East’s Band Director played Taps to close the Moment of Remembrance.
Appleton annually honors the community’s fallen heroes, but, in order to protect the health and safety of participants, spectators, and volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic, the Appleton Parade Committee decided the 2020 Appleton Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony would not take place as planned.
Instead, the Committee collaborated with parade partners to build a new way to pay tribute to those who died protecting our rights and freedoms.
“Our community will continue to honor our heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice,” the Committee said. “The Appleton Parade Committee is grateful for the pride, passion, and patriotism our spectators bring to our community events. You make our parades great! We deeply appreciate all of the time and effort and creativity participants put into their parade floats, performances, and presentation.”
They go on to say that they are using 2020 as a temporary break, “one from which Appleton’s parades will bounce back stronger and better than ever.