Martha Marsh says the annual Memorial Day Parade in Hudson is a family affair- her own immediate family and those of a larger one, the Hudson-area members of the American Legion.


     Her tenure as parade chair began in the early 1970's, when her uncle, Elwin Kingsley retired and left the area.


      He told her that she should continue the family tradition and take over the responsibility.


       Now in her eighties, Marsh has turned over the parade portion to her daughter, Cindy Suchan-Rothgery, but still organizes the events at Markillie Cemetery, where the parade route ends.


       Marsh has seen the parade change and grow during her tenure.  She says it originally was not much more than a procession of veterans through downtown and up to the cemetery.


        Today it has grown to about 65 to 70 participants, with floats and vintage cars, and a performance by the high school marching band.


         Marsh wasn't sure just when the parade began, but remembers that it was suspended briefly during the Second World War. 


          Parade preparation begins in earnest around February of each year and several activities accompany the event.


          This year, local boy scouts from Troop 777 in Hudson, were involved in the parade, in honor of one of their fallen members.


           U.S. Army Second Lt. David Edward Rylander, 23, was killed in Afghanistan on May 2.


           His mother was present at the ceremony,and the sacrifice her son made  was the topic of a speech given by State Representative Kristina Roegner.


           Roegner described Rylander "as one of Hudson's own" though he lived in Stow, because he was very involved in church and scouting in the city. She said she knew his committment to serving his country was strong.


           Roegner said Hudson has a long history of service to the country's military. There were 50 soldiers from Hudson involved in the War of 1812, and 10 of them are buried at the cemetery. 


           Martha Marsh, her daughter, and the extended family of the American Legion feel their own strong committment to serve.  Their goal is to continue the parade tradition, and honor the memory of the fallen, whether past or present.