Jordan celebrates Memorial Day in style
By Connor Fogel
All the village sidewalks were covered on Monday afternoon in Jordan, where residents surrounded the route of the 2017 Jordan Memorial Day Parade of the Bands.
After the national Memorial Day moment of silence at 3 p.m., the parade marched down North Main Street from the fire station to the middle school.
Community members cheered on local organizations — bands, firefighters and police, clubs, politicians and churches — that went down the streets, some with floats, antique cars and tractors. Children waited anxiously on the edges on the side walk for candy from organization members that passed by.
Other Jordan community members hosted events thoughout the day.
Jordan Library kicked things off in the morning with its pre-read book sale. Residents were invited to enjoy a chicken barbeque at First Baptist Church, to learn about the town’s history at the Jordan Historical Museum’s Open House, to grab some ice cream at the Jordan Library Ice Cream Social and to support Boy Scout Troop 52 at their hot dog stand.
Christian Huddleston, who moved back to the area in 2013 after serving 30 years in the United States Army, said one of his favorite parts was the bagpipe bands that meet at the end of the parade for the Massing of the Bagpipes.
“Really the best part is, since it’s Memorial Day, we’re keen on memorializing the loss of troops who served overseas,” Huddleston said.
Huddleston noted the opening ceremony before the parade that honored all those who have served was also an important moment, a time that symbolized what the day is really all about.
Fiona Richardson, Huddleston’s sister from Memphis, said she and her family always make sure to see the opening ceremony. Richardson said her favorite part about the parade is the marching band because her daughter is a member, and also DownBeat Percussion and the bagpipes.
“That’s another great thing about this — everybody knows somebody in the parade,” Richardson said.
Cindy Meili, director for Town of Elbridge Veterans Outreach Services, was the Memorial Day guest speaker. Meili’s speech during the opening ceremony honored all those who have served and remembered those lost.
Vintage for Veterans, a volunteer group of pin up girls and other vintage dressed characters, won the Mayor’s Award for Best Float in this year’s parade.
Melody Wilkinson, also known by her pin up girl character Miss Lizzie DeVille, said in a press release that the group started in 2015 when a nursing home director hired her to entertain residents as a pin up girl for Memorial Day.
“It was amazing,” Wilkinson said. “Some of the residents were just smiling with big tears rolling down their cheeks.”
Wilkinson hopes that being featured in the Memorial Day parade and other events will bring the group one step closer to becoming a small nonprofit organization.
At the end of the parade, the Emerald City Scottish Pipe Band and the City of Syracuse Highland Pipe Band met on North Main Street for the Massing of the Bagpipes. The two pipe bands performed a few classic songs together, including “Amazing Grace.”