by Mary Helen Darah

The 2018 Memorial Day parade grand marshal Jerry Newman and his wife, Nancy.

Jerry Newman will serve as the grand marshal for the 2018 Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 28.

Newman enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1968 and spent four years on active duty as an electronics technician; two of those years were spent in Chu Lai, Vietnam. He returned home and joined the U.S Navy Reserves for an additional two years before spending one year in the Ohio Army National Guard with the 585th Military Police. Newman retired from the Maumee Ford Stamping Plant as an electrician and being a UAW Health and Safety Representative in 2008. He served on the Veterans Committee and the Emergency Response Team before his retirement, and currently he works part-time for Brondes Ford in Maumee. He also enjoys time babysitting his grandchildren.

“Being selected as grand marshal for the Sylvania Memorial Day parade is an honor, a privilege and a humbling experience. On this day, we get to memorialize all the veterans who fought and died for the freedoms and liberties that we Americans hold dear today. I stand humble and proud to represent these veterans who didn’t have a chance to live out their lives,” Newman said.

This year’s grand marshal is also the current post commander of the VFW Post 606 in Toledo and captain of the honor guard, in addition to being a longtime member of the Sylvania American Legion Post 468. Newman enjoys volunteering at Toledo Memorial Park to place flags on the graves of U.S. veterans and wreaths during the Wreaths Across America event. He also volunteers with the Sylvania Township Police Department in the Citizen Patrol Program. He and his wife, Nancy, will be married for 37 years this August and have two children together and four beautiful grandchildren. Newman prides himself on serving his family, neighbors and the veteran community.

Local Sylvania-area veterans groups, the city of Sylvania and Sylvania Recreation are assisting with coordination of the 2018 Sylvania Memorial Day observances. Beginning at 9 a.m., a brief service will be held at Toledo Memorial Park, 6832 Monroe St. Over 12,000 local veterans are laid to rest at Toledo Memorial Park. The “Sea of Flags” that decorates their graves is a truly magnificent sight. Local veterans groups and color guards will also visit Association, Ravine and St. Joseph’s cemeteries to honor area veterans buried there.

The annual Memorial Day parade will start at St. Joseph’s School, 5411 S. Main St., beginning at 10:15 a.m. The parade will proceed north on Main St. to Erie St. finishing at Veterans Memorial Field. The Northview and Southview High School bands as well as local veterans, military, scout and civic groups and local political dignitaries will participate in this year’s parade.

A 30-minute Memorial Day service honoring America’s veterans will begin at 11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Field with city of Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough serving as master of ceremonies. Five large bronze monuments are in place at Memorial Field describing five American wars and listing the Sylvania area residents who gave up their lives in those conflicts.