Memorial Day Parade canceled due to weather, ceremony held indoors


American Legion Post 37 fires salute to the dead during Memorial Day program on May 27 in front of the Ames City Autirorium. 

Gillian Groomes

A parade was scheduled to be held in downtown Ames Monday to observe Memorial Day, but it was canceled due to forecasts of inclement weather.

The parade was scheduled to start at Ames City Hall on Clark Avenue and finish on Ninth Street. Due to weather in the morning, the parade was canceled. The cancellation did not prevent people and veterans of the community from coming to participate in a celebration of the United States and those who served in its armed forces.

Despite the cancellation of the parade, the ceremony continued.

The ceremony began with a performance of the Ames Municipal Band at 11 a.m. in the auditorium of City Hall, which was packed with people of all ages.

Following the band’s performance, Jan Schmidt, president of the Ames Patriotic Council, led the introduction. After giving recognition to a few council members, Schmidt introduced the mayor of Ames, John Haila.

Haila began his speech by reminding the people why they were celebrating Memorial Day.

“It has been correctly said that heroes are ordinary people with hearts of steel,” Haila said. “Their courage, determination and will power make them rise as symbols of peace and liberty.”

Haila then went on to thank everyone for coming and for the veteran’s service.

Michael Moon, an Iowa judge and veteran, then recognized the histories of Iowa’s veterans. Moon’s tribute focused on the lives of two notable Iowa veterans who represented the thousands of lives lost while serving in the armed forces.

“Today we not only honor those who died in World War I, World War II and the Korean conflict but also those who gave their lives more recently,” Moon said.

Many veterans were in attendance, including Bob Pokorny, a Navy veteran from the Vietnam War, and Michele Uitermarkt-Borg who was in the Army Reserves and served in Iraq. Both said they were scheduled to participate in the parade, yet were content with the ceremony that took place.