posttrib
A-OK 
Weather Updates

Portage Memorial Day parade fetes those who served

People lined al way down central ave Monday for Portage parade. |Dan Shelton/Sun-Times Media

People lined al the way down central ave Monday for the Portage parade. |Dan Shelton/Sun-Times Media

storyidforme: 66742414
tmspicid: 23864820
fileheaderid: 11723004
Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: June 28, 2014 6:04AM



PORTAGE — Robert Goudy sat in the shade of Walgreen’s at Willowcreek and Central Avenue on Monday with his niece and her husband, waiting for the annual Memorial Day parade to start.

Holding his World War II veteran cap in his hand, Goudy, 87, of Portage, said he enlisted in the Army at 17 and headed to Japan for two years at the end of the war. He saw his older brother Dewey also in the Army.

“I met him when he was going home. I was taking his place,” Goudy said. He later enlisted in the Air Force, and took a job at the steel mills when he left the military.

He likes coming to the annual parade, as well as the one for the Fourth of July.

“We’re America — the best country in the world. We have a lot of trouble right now, but we’re going to straighten it out if I can live long enough,” he said.

From the Portage Mall to Calvary Cemetery, where American Legion Post 260 held a brief memorial service after the parade, families lined Central Avenue — in the shade when they could get it and the sun when they couldn’t — to pay tribute to America’s veterans.

People sat on lawn chairs and grabbed snacks from coolers while their dogs laid at their feet. Children waved grocery sacks, waiting for the chance to grab some candy.

Donna Jimenez has been coming to the parade with her family for as long as she can remember. She lived in Portage most of her life before moving to Chesterton.

She likes to show up a full two hours before the parade starts to get the best seating.

“It’s a family thing they have to carry on after I’m gone, and we always have a good spot because we’re early,” she said.

Donna’s daughter, Kim Jimenez, also of Chesterton, said because the family is so busy, the parade is the one thing they know they’re all coming to. The family also keeps sight of the holiday’s true meaning, honoring the nation’s military.

“That’s one thing we instill in the children. It’s not just the kick off of summer and a barbecue,” she said.

Nancy Bohlke and her family came to the parade as well. The Portage woman, who has six brothers who served in the military, enjoys the parade’s patriotic feel while her stepdaughter, Valerie Bohlke, 11, said she liked the candy.

“It’s for the vets,” Bohlke said. “It’s Memorial Day.”



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.