By, Michelle Hazekamp
May 30, 2022
Every year we celebrate the kick-off to summer by gathering with family and friends for cook-outs and parties on Memorial Day, however, it is also the day we reminisce how we acquired the freedoms to do so. As we take this day to honor those who have died fighting for our freedoms and maintain them, thus begins the grand displays of patriotism throughout the summer with the season of parades. Memorial Day brings us to humility as we remember those who sacrificed their lives to secure these freedoms we generally take for granted, and reflect on the fact that Freedom Is Not Free. It is also the first of many summer parades to celebrate America and our great history.
Muskegon County does not disappoint when it comes to honoring our fallen hero's. In Fruitport Township, Memorial Day is celebrated by holding "Fruitport Old Fashioned Days." Every year Fruitport hosts a week long carnival where kids from all over come to enjoy carnival rides and food while hanging out with friends along with neighborhood garage sales on every street corner to entice the adults, concluding on Monday with a grand Memorial Day Parade. The Fruitport Old Fashioned Days made its debut in Muskegon County 48 years ago and hosts the largest Memorial Day Parade in all of West Michigan.
The Muskegon GOP honored Memorial Day with an eye-catching float decorated in the colors of freedom with a grand display of candidate signage, as it carried many candidates and volunteers through the streets of downtown Fruitport. Some candidates chose their own means of traveling through the parade, either in their own decorated vehicles or walking with their campaign teams and handing out campaign literature to parade onlookers and potential voters. The candidates were spread throughout the parade from beginning to end, thus a continuous display of conservatism.
Among the candidates participating in the parade were John Gibbs, candidate for the 3rd Congressional district, Mick Bricker, candidate for State Representative for the 88th district, Luke Meerman, candidate for State Representative for the 89th district, Jon Bumstead, candidate for State Senate in the 32nd district, Al Swanson for Muskegon County Circuit Court Judge and our County Commissioner candidates, Matt Johnson, Zach Lahring (pulling the float), Michelle Hazekamp and Doug Brown.
We are grateful to those who sacrificed their lives in order to guarantee the freedoms endowed to us by God and sanctified into our Constitution by our Founding Fathers. And we are grateful to have opportunities to honor them and uphold the conservative values that are worth dying for!
Ceremonies are important, but our gratitude has to be more than once a year Memorial Day ceremonies. We honor the dead best by upholding the values and laws they died for and standing up against every ideology that is not just and right in the sight of God almighty.