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  • Writer's pictureJared Cramer

Community to mark national holiday

Below is an article from the May 24, 2017, edition of the Grand Haven Tribune that mentions the ministry of our church.

Community members will have several opportunities to honor fallen men and women of the country’s armed forces this weekend.

Memorial Day activities in West Michigan include church services, parades and ceremonies. Here’s what’s happening locally:

Grand Haven church service

The community is invited to attend a memorial service at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 28, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 524 Washington Ave. It will be led by the Rev. Dr. Jared Cramer. During the service, donations will be taken for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

Grand Haven parade and ceremony

The annual Grand Haven parade steps off at 9:30 a.m. Monday, May 29, from Washington Avenue and Sixth Street. The parade continues down Washington and ends at Waterfront Stadium.

Bill Klungle, Tom Hibiske, John Workman and Chuck Stauffer will pilot an aerial flyover of The Hooligans during the parade.

This year’s parade grand marshals are George and Edna McCarthy. Mayor Geri McCaleb will be the president of the day. Honorary marshals are George Bennett, Robert VerMurlen Delbie DeGram, Clarence Diedrich, Herm Rosema, Tom Fricano, Ron Holland, Bill Yedinak, Al Plantenga, Bob Dougall, Jack Robinson, Dewie Jordan, Dan Hildreth, Ed Bushouse, Bob Sluka and Ken Kelly.

The Gold Star Mother is Hilda Zimmerman, and the Gold Star Family members include Candace Brown, Derek Gajdos, Kathy Straatsma and A.J. Moore.

The 2017 flower bearers are Elliott Irving, Margaret Young, Ceara Kelly, Carter MacKellar, Alexis Kotkowicz and Kyleigh Chittenden.

As flowers are scattered in the Grand River, the Grand Haven High School band will perform “Abide with Me.” Soloist Shawnda Draeger will sing “God Bless America.”

Once a roll call of local veterans who died this past year is read, the American Legion Honor Guard will fire volleys and “Taps” will be performed by GHHS band students Hannah Smith and James VanBennekom.

Boy Scout Troop 165 will raise the American flag at the stadium and Boy Scout Troop 246 will raise the flag on Dewey Hill.

A short ceremony will follow at the Veterans Memorial at Y Drive.

Grand Haven trolleys will provide transportation for community members interested in participating in a small and final ceremony in the Grand Army of the Republic Lot at Lake Forest Cemetery.

Spring Lake parade and ceremony

Construction is slated to be wrapped up in time for the Spring Lake Memorial Day parade, said parade co-chairperson Diane Schindlbeck.

The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the corner of Buchanan and Exchange streets. If the construction isn’t done, participants will meet and leave from Harvest Bible Chapel’s parking lot.

The parade route runs east on Exchange Street and turns north on Lake Avenue. It then turns east on River Street and continues to North Fruitport Road.

The parade ends at Spring Lake Township Cemetery, where a ceremony will take place at noon.

This year’s grand marshal is Barbara Storey Casemier, who served in the U.S. Army Nurses Corps. Casemier and her husband, Hank, raised three children, and they owned Casemier Supermarkets in Grand Haven and Spring Lake.

During the ceremony, Spring Lake High School trumpeter Beth Barraclough will play “Taps.” Members of the high school marching band will accompany vocalist Kayla Raschke for “America the Beautiful.” Raschke will also perform “God Bless America.”

Community members interested in participating in the Spring Lake parade can contact Schindlbeck at 616-502-6192.


An 11 a.m. service at Pine Hill Cemetery on Monday starts events in Fruitport.

The Fruitport Memorial Parade begins at 2 p.m. It leaves from Fruitport Middle School and Edgewood Elementary School on Pontaluna Road. The parade continues south on South Third Avenue and turns west on West Fruitport Road. It ends at Fruitport High School.

The 2017 Fruitport Old Fashioned Days king and queen are Tom and Sandy Christmas.

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