Memorial Day Parade steps off Monday

The 2013 Memorial Day Parade Committee is shown. They are front row (from left): Tom Wilson, Dearborn Allied War Veterans Commander Phil Smith, George Harvey, and DAWVC Senior Commander Gino Polidori. Back row (from left): Bill Bazzi, John Ruselowski, Craig Tillman, Nancy Dlugokenski, Salwa Haji, and Maureen VanHooser. Not pictured: Ron Bukowski, Ken Preiss, Gary Tanner and Sean Green.

DEARBORN — The city’s 89th annual Memorial Day Parade steps off at 10 a.m. Monday, traveling along Michigan Avenue from Greenfield Road to Schaefer, ending at City Hall.

A solemn ceremony will follow at noon at the city’s War Memorial on the grounds of City Hall.

The Dearborn Allied War Veterans Council Memorial Day Parade Committee has been putting the finishing touches on parade plans.

The 2013 parade and remembrance ceremony will pay special tribute to prisoners of war, former prisoners of war, and those soldiers whose fate is still undetermined, and their families.

The committee comprises many dedicated volunteers who help to create a parade honoring those who died in service to our country.

The committee consists of:
• Phil Smith, DAWVC commander. Smith served 27 years with the U.S. Marine Corps, including tours of duty in Vietnam and Desert Storm. He serves as the director and chief of Vietnam Veterans of America, Veterans and Family Benefits, State Council of Michigan.

• Gino Polidori, DAWVC senior vice commander. Polidori served in the U.S. Army 1964 to 1966. He has a long history of leadership in Dearborn, including 22 years as fire chief, two terms on City Council, and three terms as a state representative.

• Tom Wilson, DAWVC trustee. Wilson is a former Army Signal Corp SP4 who served during Vietnam. He is a past commander of the DAWVC.

• George Harvey is a Korean War veteran with two Purple Hearts. He was named Dearborn’s Veteran of the Year in 1984.

• Gary Tanner was a U.S. Army Spec4 who served three years active duty and three years in the Army Reserves. Tanner is a past commander of the DAWVC and a past Veteran of the Year.

• Craig Tillman served three years in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Tillman is a past commander of the DAWVC.

• Sean Green is a former U.S. Navy Explosive Ordinance Tech, who served in Desert Storm, as well as NATO missions to Bosnia. Green is treasurer of the American Legion Riders Fort Dearborn Post 364.

• Bill Bazzi has been serving in the U.S. Marine Corp for 19 years, and has been activated numerous times since September 2001.

• John Ruselowski served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He is a past commander of the DAWVC and a past Veteran of the Year.

• Nancy Dlugokenski is a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army, and has been serving for 24 years. She has been on Active Reserve status since 2008.

• Salwa Haji is current president of the Michigan Military Moms.

• Maureen VanHooser served as president of the Michigan Military Moms 2006 to 2012.

• Ron Bukowski has volunteered on the parade committee for many years, assisting with hospitality and logistics.

• Ken Preiss is a retired city employee who now volunteers to coordinate the parade’s flyovers.

• Learn more about the parade at