Families gather for Saginaw Memorial Day parade - WNEM TV 5

Families gather for Saginaw Memorial Day parade

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In Saginaw, dozens of families are gathering for the Memorial Day parade that honors men and women who died in the armed forces.

>>Slideshow: Memorial Day events across Mid-Michigan<<

“It is certainly an honor,” said Frank Ornelas.

Ornelas is a Korean War veteran who served in the United States military to protect our freedom.

He took part in a different kind of service, performing the task of Grand Marshal for this year’s Memorial Day parade in Saginaw.

“I don’t feel worthy of it but I’m glad it happened,” Ornelas said.

Veteran groups, marching bands, schools, and other members of the community took part in the parade.

After the parade, a ceremony was held at Hoyt Park to honor those fighting for our freedom.

“This is a day of remembrance,” said Lanary Culpepper. “Those we have lost in different wars while people were in the service.”

Culpepper is a Korean War veteran. He was one of many people on hand to pay tribute to our fallen servicemen and women.

“We pray for them,” Culpepper said. “We ask for their blessings for the ones who are still here. But yes, life goes on.”

Culpepper wants us all to remember freedom isn’t free. That’s something Ornelas probably knows better than most.

He said he’s honored to do his part to defend the red, white, and blue.

“It was a rough deal, but when I came home I was so grateful and I still am,” Ornelas said.

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