After three years away from the traditional route and historic Riverside Cemetery, the Memorial Day Parade and “Moment of Remembrance” Ceremony will return to Appleton on Monday, May 30.
“The Appleton Memorial Day Parade provides our community with an opportunity to honor the service and sacrifice behind American rights and freedoms,” said Corey Otis, Appleton Parade Committee Chairperson. “Finally, we can come together again and collectively pay our proper respects to those who died while serving our country.”
The Appleton Memorial Day Parade annually pays tribute to servicemen and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving in defense of the United States. This solemn event annually draws hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators to Appleton. The parade begins at 9:00 a.m. on Memorial Day. The route starts at the corner of College Avenue and Appleton Street, heads east on College Avenue to Meade Street, north on Meade Street to Pacific Street, and east on Pacific Street ending at the corner of Pacific Street and Owaissa Street.
The Fox Valley Veterans Council, Fast Signs, and Great Northern Corporation have partnered to create a special tribute for Memorial Day. The Fox Valley Veterans Council has long maintained a list of Outagamie County servicemen and women who perished while serving in the United States military from the Civil War to the present. This year, Fast Signs designed and produced large banners to display these names for the parade. Great Northern Corporation will drive the banners through the Appleton Memorial Day Parade on a semitruck, which will ultimately park outside the entrance of Riverside Cemetery. Parade spectators are encouraged to read the names of the fallen servicemen and women, remember their sacrifice, and reflect upon their service.
The "Moment of Remembrance" ceremony takes place immediately following the Parade in Appleton’s historic Riverside Cemetery, at the George D. Eggleston, G.A.R. monument – 714 North Owaissa Street. A short, second ceremony takes place after the City’s ceremony, at the Appleton American Legion Post No. 38 plot. This plot is located at the entrance of the St. Joseph Cemetery within Riverside Cemetery.
Connor Romberg, a 17-year-old junior at Fox Valley Lutheran High School, is elated to present this year’s keynote address at the “Moment of Remembrance” ceremony. As an honors student, Romberg has always had an affinity for reading, writing, and public speaking. He is an integral member of the forensics team, earning gold in Oratory Speech two years in a row at the Wisconsin High School Forensics Association State Speech Festival. Connor has also won regional and state champion titles for Impromptu Speaking through the Future Business Leaders of America. Romberg participates in many extracurricular activities, including Peer Leadership Group. He even started a debate club at his school. In his spare time, Romberg also loves playing the piano and organ, often performing at local nursing homes. He also loves reading, volunteering at his local library, and working at Barnes and Noble. Romberg will enrich his writing skills through a newspaper internship this summer, and he plans to study law in college.
Other students participating in this year’s ceremony include Tatum Grambow from Appleton East, Paige Givens from Appleton North, Ashley Vermeulen from Appleton West, and Allison Harikkala from Xavier. The in-person program will feature poignant speeches and poems delivered by Appleton high school students; remarks from Appleton Mayor Jake Woodford, Bob Johnson from American Legion Post 38, and our master of ceremonies; and patriotic music, including live performances from bagpiper Jason Roberts and the Appleton City Band. Color and honor guards from various local veteran service organizations will also participate. The ceremony will end in the traditional manner: a rifle salute to our fallen servicemen and women will be performed by members of Appleton American Legion Post 38 and Appleton VFW Post 2778. A bugler will play “Taps” to close the Moment of Remembrance.
Appleton annually honors our community’s fallen heroes. The Parade Committee collaborated with parade partners to pay tribute to those who died protecting our rights and freedoms. Follow the Appleton Memorial Day Parade on Facebook for news and updates on this year’s Memorial Day Parade and Moment of Remembrance ceremony as well as announcements regarding the 71st Flag Day Parade, scheduled for June 11, 2022.