The Arlington American Legion led community members down Olympic Avenue as part of the annual Memorial Day parade held this year on May 27.
The American Legion Post 76 in Arlington works with a number of community groups to honor Memorial Day each year.
The day is meant to honor veterans who are no longer with us, said David Delancy, color guard commander with the local American Legion Post.
“It’s just in remembrance of the men and women who never came home from combat,” said Delancy.
“Even the ones that come home safe and sound or broken in spirit, once they go in the ground that is what this is for,” he said.
Delancy said he wants to keep the focus of the day on veterans that have passed away either during their service or afterward.
“It’s not to say ‘thank you’ to veterans. Our day is Veterans Day. This one is for those that never came home or who passed away,” he said.
The local American Legion Post also recognizes local Arlington veterans that have passed away during the year at the event.
“There is a brick memorial right across from the American Legion [at Legion Park] with four folded flags in there. Those are for four members of my post that have passed since the last Memorial Day,” said Delancy.
Community groups and Arlington school groups come out to support the day in the parade, including local Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups, the Arlington High School band and the Air Force JROTC program.
AFJROTC member Caleb Palmer was participating in the parade for the third year in a row.
“I love this parade so much, not so much for the marching, but remembering those who have fallen and what they have given to us,” said Palmer.
“The marching is fun too,” he said.
AFJROTC member Blythe O’Brannigan said that the day is important to many.
“My father was a veteran and he’s lost friends, so it’s important for him and important for me as well because of that,” she said.
Delancy said that participating in the parade makes him feel good.
“I’m fourth-generation military myself. My father served 25 years for this country, I did Desert Storm, my grandfather served in World War II, my great-grandfather was in World War I and my uncle was in Vietnam,” he said.
“It’s just tradition and I carry on that tradition,” he said.
The parade also serves as an opportunity for the community to get together. O’Brannigan said she likes meeting up with her school troop.
“A big portion of what I like to do is meeting up at the parade with my fellow cadets. I just like connecting with them and seeing how far they’ve grown throughout the year,” she said.
Delancy said that he feels the community does come out and shows their appreciation each year.
“Between this, the Fourth of July and Veterans Day, this community supports us very well,” he said.