HANNAHVILLE, Mich. (WLUC) - It's not often you see a parade happening on a weekday, especially if it's not a holiday. But this wasn't the case Thursday for the community of Hannahville.
Earlier Thursday morning, the town hosted its annual Stop Domestic Violence Awareness Parade and Community Policing Cookout.
"It's a parade that we look forward to every year,” said Karen Miller, who was walking in support of the parade.
It also was held to honor Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Stopping Domestic Violence, which hit home for many people on Thursday.
"It's just heartbreaking,” said Janice Wandahsega, one of many who helped organized Thursday’s parade.
Wandahsega has several close relatives who either have been murdered, are currently missing or are victims of domestic violence.
"My sisters and I helped get Loretta ready for her funeral, and we had to make the decision to tell her family, to have a closed casket because of the way she was,” she explained.
This is something Wandahsega says she'll never forget.
"Oh my goodness, that's something that's going to last in my mind forever."
The same applies for Karen Miller, who lost her mother and is walking in her honor.
"I lost her in 1977. She was a double murder-suicide, so I'm here today to represent her and my family,” she said.
By walking Thursday, Miller and many others hope to inspire women going through similar situations to stand strong and continue the fight.
"Just put in their minds, this stuff does happen, and to be aware of what they need to put in their minds of what they need to know and do about domestic violence and abuse,” explained Miller.
Following Thursday's parade, the community enjoyed a free policing cookout and received information on how to seek help at a fair in the community center.
Organizers thank the community for their ongoing support, and look forward to seeing them again next year.