WWII vet honorary parade marshal in Memorial Day observance in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 May 2021 at 8:25 am

Route won’t include Main Street, which is posted detour with Knowlesville bridge out

ALBION – Garland Miller, a World War II veteran, was an ambulance driver in the Pacific Theater. On Monday, he will serve as honorary parade marshal during Albion’s scaled-down Memorial Day observance.

There won’t be a parade down Main Street, ending at the middle school front lawn due to Covid-19 concerns. There won’t be a marching band and other service organizations for the parade and memorial service.

Last year’s Memorial Day observance was cancelled. This year, the VFW and American Legion are planning a smaller-scale observance, with veterans gathering at the VFW on Platt Street at about 10:30 a.m. The group will then proceed to the Courthouse lawn for an observance at the new veterans’ memorial that was erected by the Knights of Columbus. (The Knights will have a ceremony there too on Monday at 9 a.m. with a bagpiper.)

The veterans were planning to march from the VFW down Bank Street and then turn left onto Main Street. But Route 98 is a posted detour with the Route 31 bridge in Knowlesville currently closed. Because of that, the Department of Transportation was unwilling to close Main Street for the procession, said Gary Befus, who is helping to organize the procession.

The VFW and Legion have a new route, with veterans gathering at the VFW, processing south on Platt Street, then turning right (west) onto State Street, and then taking a left (south) at the Main Street traffic light. They will then march single file down the sidewalk to the veterans’ memorial on the Courthouse lawn, Befus said.

Any local veteran is welcome to join in the procession. At the memorial the service will begin at 11 a.m. with brief remarks from Tim Lindsay, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, and Tim Archer, an Albion teacher who will highlight some of the service-learning projects by his students that have honored veterans.

Mr. Miller, 95, is expected to join in the procession, riding in a Kubota. After serving in World War II, he worked 21 years as a heavy equipment mechanic for the state Department of Transportation in Pittsford and then close to home in Albion. He also drove a tractor-trailer for 28 years and worked part-time for an auctioneer in Middleport.

He has been busy in his retirement, visiting all 50 states. He stays active, and has been in the news for completing puzzles with several thousand pieces.