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Parades, services go on despite rain

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Monday, May 27, 2013 - 6:46 pm

It was a cold, rainy Memorial Day, but that didn't stop the parades, nor did it deter spectators.

A steady rain made for a quick parade in Waynedale, ending with a ceremony at Prairie Grove Cemetery. There veterans laid a wreath, gave a 21-gun salute and played taps to a small, somber crowd.

Dan and Deb Purch of Decatur brought their granddaughter, Addisyn Fry, to Waynedale for the parade and service. "It's Memorial Day; it's to memorialize fallen soldiers," said Dan Purch, a Vietnam veteran.

Deb Purch said they wanted Addisyn to know that Memorial Day is about more than just getting a day off school. "It should be a part of growing up," Dan Purch said.

Over on Parnell Avenue families lined the parade route that stepped off from Parnell and State Boulevard at 11 a.m. and went to Memorial Coliseum. Motorcyclists, law enforcement officials, veterans and other groups paraded past those gathered on the street.

Cristin Whitt brought her kids, ages 3, 2 and 1, because they'd never seen a parade before. "Their dad was in the service for eight years," she said. And she recalled her grandfather always dressing in full military attire for the Memorial Day parade.

Irene Norris said she comes to the parade just about ever year. "I just want to acknowledge the veterans and their sacrifice," she said. "I wish more people would come.