Westfield Memorial Day Parade honors high school principal

Posted: Updated:
WESTFIELD -

The annual Memorial Day Parade in Westfield honored not only military members who were lost, but the beloved high school principal who died last month.

Rather than having a grand marshal wave and smile to the crowd, parade organizers chose to honor the memory of veteran and former principal Dr. Derrick Nelson, who died at 44 years old from complications while donating bone marrow. He was making the donation to save the life of a 14-year-old in France.

"I just wish that we were able to honor him and do all of this while he was still here but he is with us. He's here with us in spirit,” says Derrick’s fiancée, Sheranda Braker.

Nelson served for more than 20 years as an army reserve officer.

"He was always interested and really passionate about what we were doing which was an amazing thing,” says Westfield High School senior Sofia Lemberg. “And he was never afraid to show how passionate he was for us. He was a really big supporter and meant a lot to me and everyone else in the band and it's really hard to be here without him this year."

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."