Jackson Honors Veterans At Memorial Day Parade

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For many it's a day of saluting and flag waving. For Kim Boucher and her son Quinn, a Staff Sergeant who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Memorial Day is also a time of giving thanks.

"That he came back safe and just fought for our country is really important," Kim Boucher said.

From marching bands to applauding crowds, hundreds of people came out to Jackson's annual parade. The event started on Michigan Avenue and ended with a wreath ceremony in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.

"It was just a Monday off but now it makes me teary when I see the services they do," Boucher said, referring to the city's ceremony.

Seeing that support from both family and members of the community is something Staff Sgt. Boucher says he appreciates.

"It's always nice to see that patriotism is still alive," he added.

That's what the day is all about, honoring those who gave their lives while serving our country.

"And to honor the present day soldiers who are continuing to fight for our freedom all over the world," said Gary Sternaman, co-commander of the Jackson County Veteran Council.

Sternaman, who's helped organize the event for the past twenty years, says it's a tradition that's become an important part of the community.

"It just brings the community closer together when everyone gets together," Sternaman shared. "It gets bigger every year and that's a good deal."

When all the services are over, veterans say it's the small gestures that make a big difference.

"When people come up and say thank you it means a lot, just the simple words of thank you," said Jeremy Croteau, President of the Michigan U.S. Military Vets.

It's a thanks that Kim Boucher is also grateful for.

"It's just a little heartfelt because you see people who are actually saying thank you," she added.

Honoring and saluting those who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy.

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