Memorial Day Parade Returns to Downtown Saline This Year
The Saline Memorial Day parade returns to the community for the first time since 2019 this year.
On May 30, Americans will honor the men and women of the US Armed Forces who gave their lives in service of the country.
Saline's parade returns for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The parade will line up on Harris Street. The parade begins at 10 a.m. and proceeds to Oakwood Cemetery, where there will be a brief service. Following the service, the American Legion Post will host a hot dog lunch, sponsored by Robison-Bahnmiller Funeral Home.
There will not be a pancake breakfast at the Saline Area Fire Department prior to the parade.
This year, the parade's Grand Marshal is U.S. Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Andrew J. Juknelis.
Major General Andrew Juknelis was assigned as the Commander of the 108th Training Command (IET) in February 2020 after a successful tour in the Republic of Korea as the Wartime Chief of Staff for the Eighth US Army.
He was commissioned into the Infantry at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1988 with a BS degree in Aerospace Engineering. Upon completion of Infantry Officer Basic Course and the US Army Ranger School at Fort Benning, he was assigned to the 9th Infantry Regiment “Manchu” with the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, CA. He deployed as part of the Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai, Egypt, and was awarded the Expert Infantry Badge. As a Platoon Leader on Operation Just Cause in Panama, he was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.
In 1996, MG Juknelis was assigned to the 1st Brigade of the 91st Division and served as a Senior Opposing Forces controller during numerous simulation exercises. He was mobilized to active duty in January of 2003, where he was responsible for training US Army Reserve and National Guard Units deploying overseas in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Assigned to the 5th Brigade of the 75th Division, he was an Operations Observer-Controller/Trainer on exercises across the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, including four combined exercises in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
MG Juknelis deployed to Iraq in 2007 as the Brigade G3 (Plans) Officer with the 300th Military Police Brigade. He was responsible for the Theater Internment Facility Reconciliation Center at Camp Bucca and Camp Cropper, the largest and busiest detention facilities in the world. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Iraq Campaign Medal. Upon returning to the United States, he has served on active duty as the Chief OC/T with the 5th Brigade/75th Division and trained various Military Police Brigade and Battalion staffs from the Active Duty, US Army Reserve, and National Guard in their pre-deployment readiness exercises in Detention Operations.
From 2010 to 2012, MG Juknelis commanded the 2-360 Training Support Battalion in French Camp, CA in First Army and assumed command of Task Force Outlaw, the premier training site for full-spectrum Military Police and Detention Operations. During this time, he was mobilized as the Deputy Commanding Officer of the 402nd Field Artillery Brigade in Ft. Bliss, TX. He returned to Pacific Training Division in 2012 as an Exercise Branch Chief before assuming Brigade Command of 1st Brigade in 2014. As commander, MG Juknelis was the Exercise Director and Senior OC/T for many notable exercises including Key Resolve, Ulchi Freedom Guardian, Yama Sakura, Keen Edge, Imua Dawn, and multiple Command Staff Training Program events throughout the Pacific Rim and the Western United States.
MG Juknelis received the Order of National Security Cheonsu Medal signed by Korean President Moon Jae In for his leadership as the US Chief of Staff in the certification of the Combined Ground Component Command Headquarters in the Republic of Korea from 2016 to 2020.
MG Juknelis has been awarded the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Bronze Hourglass and “M” Device. He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Santa Clara University and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College. He and his wife, Mei, enjoy the outdoors and reside in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Northern California.