LIMA — The eyes of Lima will be downtown Monday as the Memorial Day returns to Main Street.
“We’ve been working pretty steadily getting everything assembled,” Rollie Benedum of the Allen County Veterans Council said. “We’re right down to the wire, just about ready to finalize everything.”
As with every parade in downtown Lima, the participants will start in Northland Plaza, working their way down North Main Street to Town Square. Staging will begin from 8:30 to 9 a.m. before the start of the parade at 10 a.m.
“I would have to say there will be at least 50 participants in the parade,” Benedum said.
With Memorial Day set aside to honor men and women in the military who have fallen in action, as well as living veterans, this year’s parade theme is in keeping with that tradition, honoring those who have suffered while protecting this nation.
“Our Grand Marshall is Will Thompson, and the theme for the parade is ‘Purple Heart,’” Benedum said. “Will, a local, was wounded in Afghanistan and received a Purple Heart. He’s the president of the Purple Heart Association here.”
Following the parade, the Veterans Council wil host a wreath-laying ceremony at noon at Allen County Memorial Hall. Members of the public are invited to participate and lay a wreath during the ceremony. Children are encourages to lay a flower in honor of a loved one, as well.
“Everything is in order for that,” Benedum said. “Different organizations participate in it, and that’s pretty standard every year. Different churches also participate.”
Another attraction will be on display in the atrium during the ceremony. A local member of the Veterans Council won a large print that exemplifies the courage of men and women in uniform during a statewide raffle.
“It’s worth somewhere between $600 and $1,000,” Benedum said. “Even if people just come to see that print, it will be worth it.”
While the ceremony is an important part of the day, Benedum knows that the main attraction will be on North Main Street.
“People always love a parade,” he said.