Reporting Mike Schuh
WESTMINSTER, Md. (WJZ)—Here in Maryland and across the nation, people are remembering American heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Mike Schuh has more on the tribute in Carroll County.
For the past 145 years, generations have come to know exactly what’s going to happen on Main Street on the last Monday in May in Westminster.
“As much as we grow we can still be a small town,” said Melony Gist, of Westminster.
It’s big enough to line a mile of Main Street, but small enough that the hometown vet can get a special delivery during the parade.
“It’s overwhelming. It shows that we have a country that cares about their veterans,” said Sgt. Joel Caple, of Westminster.
Back when the first national Memorial Day was called Decoration Day, Westminster participated.
So how did all this start? It was 1868 and the mayor’s daughter gathered elementary school students and told them to cut flowers in their gardens. They then placed them on the graves of Civil War soldiers in Westminster.
So whether this is your 30th parade or like Michael Gucwa from Ellicott City, your first, “It’s deserving. I never got it in ’69 and ’70 when I came home. They didn’t like us,” he said.
But times have changed. Our country no longer blames the individual soldier for the decisions made in Washington, and all who donned a uniform are thanked.
“This country needs more of this,” Gucwa said.
“Why not? It’s commemorating our country, everything we stand for in our country is on the holiday,” said Gist.
After the parade, the city hosted a half dozen additional events to mark Memorial Day.