Rochester Area Memorial Day Parade of Heroes

Why a Parade?

John & Mary Modetz, longtime residents and owners of Modetz Funeral Homes, along with co-chair Terri Williams, organized the idea of a small, community-wide Memorial Day parade for many years. Then, in 2019, a small group of passionate community members brought the parade back for one year, led by Terry Gonser, Director of The Veteran’s Tribute of Oakland County (VTOT). During this family-friendly event, several hundred residents gathered with flags and smiles to celebrate.

Memorial Day Parade Flier

After the 2019 parade, Rochester City Council Member Mark Albrecht championed the idea of creating a sustainable parade model, bridging communities, and honoring local heroes during the Sister City Committee meetings with Rochester Hills Council Members David Blair, Theresa Mungioli, and David Walker; along with Rochester Council Members Amanda Harrison, Douglas Gould, and Mark Albrecht. As a result, the Rochester Regional Chamber (RRC) Foundation was invited to manage logistics and help to maintain the longevity of the Memorial Day Parade. Another key supporter in making the parade possible is Vito A. Pampalona, owner of Vito Anthony Homes and local decorated, disabled Vietnam Army Veteran.

Memorial Day 2022

Twenty parade entries including fire trucks, a marching band, and more will line up in the parking lot at Van Hoosen Middle School on Memorial Day Monday, May 30. At 11:30 a.m., participants will then walk the parade route – north on Adams Road – ending at the Veteran’s Tribute of Oakland Township. Upon reaching the site, parade organizers and supporters will host a 90-minute Memorial Day program featuring an invocation, song, speeches from community leaders, and concluding with recognition of local veterans in attendance.


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  1. Lyn Sieffert says

    Local parades are such a great way to celebrate the best of the U.S.A. without all the garbage dis-uniting us!

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