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'Dancing Grannies’ make 1st appearance since losing 4 members in parade crash

The group from the Milwaukee area made their first appearance since three members and a spouse of a member were killed when an SUV plowed into a Christmas parade in Waukesha.

The group of joyful grandmothers walked arm in arm on Monday in their first appearance since three of their members and a spouse of a member were killed on Nov. 21 when an SUV plowed into the crowd at the annual Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

They took to the street at the first Christmas parade in the history of the city of Franklin, wearing custom-made blue sweatshirts bearing the names of those they lost.

Virginia “Ginny” Sorenson, 79, LeAnna Owen, 71, and Tamara Durand, 52, were killed in the attack. Wilhelm Hospel, 81, the husband of another member, was also killed.


The Dancing Grannies walked arm in arm in a Christmas parade in Franklin, Wisconsin, on Monday in their first appearance since three members and a spouse of a member were killed on Nov. 21 when a truck plowed into a parade in Waukesha.TODAY

"I really think the other grannies would look down smiling, and they’ll always be in our heart," member Sharon Millard told NBC News senior national correspondent Tom Llamas on TODAY Tuesday. "We’re doing this for them, because that is what they would want."

Suspect Darrell Brooks, 39, has been charged with six counts of intentional homicide after six people died from their injuries when he allegedly sped into the crowd.

The Dancing Grannies wore sweatshirts with "In Loving Memory of Ginny, Lee, Tamara and Bill" printed on the back. They also carried a banner with a broken heart emblazoned on it.

"Seeing the people clapping with the signs brought tears to my eyes," Millard said. "It was to me like a granny parade, for us."

“It was the starting of healing,” one parade goer in Franklin said on TODAY.

Some members were unable to march as they still recover from their injuries in addition to processing the trauma and grief of that day, but they were on the minds of those gathered in Franklin.

"I think that strength just means that they feel like marching in their honor is exactly what those people would want them to do is not stop," one parade attendee said on TODAY.

Even in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, the group was determined to forge ahead.

"It might take us a year to pull back and get more people to join, but I know in our hearts that we’re going to continue," Millard said following the attack.

Millard added on Tuesday that the Dancing Grannies have received a lot of interest from women looking to join ahead of the spring and summer parade season, and their return has also inspired the Waukesha marching band to start practicing again this week.