GREEN Hundreds of people lined the parade route in Green well before the event got underway on Memorial Day. People of all ages gathered, as some stood, while others brought beach towels and some had chairs.

The parade stepped off shortly after 10 a.m. with about 130 participants, including Green Mayor Gerard Neugebauer, Green City Council members, Green Historical Society members, several businesses, local politicians and many youth organizations.

Fred Denman, who lives along the parade route with his wife and kids, said the parade is a great event each year.

"All our family comes and watches the parade," Denman said. "It has become a great tradition."

Denman, who grew up in Green, said there wasn’t a parade in the city back then, and he is happy to see one now.

Participants tossed candy and other items to children lined up along the parade route. There was also a flyover by Green Councilman Justin Speight.

Following the parade, a ceremony was held at the Veterans Memorial Park. It began with a prayer led by Father David Durkee from Queen of Heaven Church. Durkee said the day is more than picnics and parades, as it is a day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

Neugebauer added that he has been reflecting on the meaning of Memorial Day recently. He led a moment of silence and said while he was on a trip to Washington, D.C., he had a chance to visit the World War II Memorial along with several other memorials.

"I realized the impact these wars had on families and communities," Neugebauer said. "We remain strong, united and free."

Singing of the Star Spangled Banner was led by fourth-grader Claire Holdren; Amazing Grace by Seth Rinehart; and TAPS by Marty Brown.

Rinehart said he was very blessed to have been asked to be a part of the ceremony.

Neugebauer and Sgt. Daniel Slavings placed the wreath in front of the eternal flame. Neugebauer presented Frank Tuzzio and William Tritt with a plaque and thanked them for their service.

Finally, those who served or have family serving were asked to line the ribbon walk so those in attendance could shake their hand and thank them.

A car show with about 125 vehicles, and a lunch provided by the city followed the ceremony.

"This was a perfect day and the flyovers were great," Neugebauer said. "I couldn’t ask for much more."

Councilman Ken Knodel said the parade was really well attended.

They both agreed there were a lot of veterans in attendance and it was an honor and a great opportunity to meet and spend time with them.