Heroes United event honors those who served
Photos by Lil De Laat
Story by Ken De Laat
They arrived early.
And they arrived in droves.
With Sounds R Us providing some patriotic plays as a backdrop, a huge horde of humanity streamed onto Main Street and piled into the park more than an hour before the festivities would begin.
Fremont, always known for producing some seriously fine parades, hit it out of the park Wednesday afternoon as folks from throughout the area and beyond filled the sidewalks to take part in the festivities.
Yes, the Clydesdales were coming. A chance for an up close look at the most famous and recognizable team of horses to ever haul a beer wagon drew massive crowds to the downtown streets.
But they also came to honor those who have served. The men and women who wore the uniforms of our military and helped provide and preserve the freedoms we hold today.
A number of veteran organizations provided a prelude to the much anticipated equine appearance, punctuated by a pair of impressive performances by the high school marching bands from Fremont and Grant.
From the honor guard that led the parade to the bus from the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans the crowd applauded the groups of former servicemen and women from all branches of our military who proudly took in the well deserved accolades.
Then came the Clydesdales.
And talk about your pièce de résistance…
The impressive beasts, decked out in their Budweiser finest and overseen by the watchful eye of a well mannered Dalmatian from atop the carriage, drew an audible and appreciative reaction from the citizenry.
They cantered by at a pretty fair pace, coming to rest after circling the park and stood proud, taking in the admiration of those gathered about the team.
The United Way of the Lakeshore made this event happen as part of their season of caring annual campaign. Heroes United would be repeating the parade performance in Muskegon on Thursday with a concert to follow.
But on Wednesday, the eve of the day itself, the celebration was centered in this Newaygo County town and filled with folks of all ages who came to honor the men and women who spent parts of their younger years in service to this country.
Oh, and the horses. They came to see the horses too.