By April Morton

(CBS DETROIT)– It’s the unofficial start to summer but most importantly Memorial Day is a time of remembrance, and parade participants did just that in Downtown Royal Oak Monday.

“Please accept our thanks today,” the words chanted by women dressed as modern day Rosie The Riveters.

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As a respectful tribute to past and present veterans, the Royal Oak Memorial Day Parade has marched down Main street for several decades.

“It’s really a time for us to step back and remember the fallen soldiers, a lot of people don’t know they always think, thank a veteran, it’s not for today it’s spend time with a fallen soldier loved ones the ones you never met,” said Army Veteran Mark Handsy.

Handsy along with several hundred others came out to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Seeing the challenging times our country is currently in and grateful the parade went on this year after being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. Handsy says better days are on the horizon.

“You know seeing live performances, concerts, parades, it really means we’ve turned the corner as a country and hopefully we can start putting this behind,” Handsy said.

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Oakland County Executive David Coulter participated in the parade and says he’s excited to see events starting back in the county.

“I think it’s a glimpse of hope of what’s to come which is we’re going to get through this pandemic and be able to do normal activities again and be able to have parades and gathers again and this summer I think will look a lot different than last summer,” Coulter said.

Many people we spoke with at the parade relieved to once again have the freedom of attending an event and not worry about the pandemic, but also not forgetting the reason for this event.

“It’s a great time to reflect,” said Hands

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April Morton