Auburn Hills Memorial Day parade returns in full after last year’s quiet, spur-of-the-moment event

Small tribute held in 2020

Auburn Hills Memorial Day parade returns 1 year after quiet, scaled down event

AUBURN HILLS, Mich.Auburn Hills was among several Metro Detroit communities holding a Memorial Day parade on Monday.

While that’s not unusual, some may be surprised to learn there was a parade in 2020 too -- despite the pandemic -- and the parade was held almost in secret.

Word is getting out now about the scaled down, socially distanced parade that was held while during the COVID pandemic.

Monday’s parade came with the usual police escort, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, veterans of numerous campaigns and antique autos. COVID prevented the high school band from participating.

Last year’s parade was a much smaller tribute, led by 90-year-old Korean War veteran and City Council member Henry Knight.

“We marched from the Legion to the cemetery where they put all the wreaths and honors we do each year,” Knight said.

Mike Green, Vice Commander of the American Legion Hill-Gazette Post 143 said Knight did last year’s parade spur-of-the-moment.

“Henry shows up in the parking lot and wanted to take a walk. ‘But Henry you’re in uniform?’ It was very hot and I said, ‘Alright, let me get into my uniform and we’ll take a walk with you,’” Green said.

“There were six of us because we did not want to break the consecutive 81-year parade,” Knight said.

Fellow Legion member Phil Harrison couldn’t resist joining them.

“We went for a walk and happened to have flags and you know, a ceremony to honor the fallen like we do every year and will do so in the future,” Harrison said.

READ: More Memorial Day coverage

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.