2009-05-23 / Front Page

Memorial Day parades, services

Many area communities will honor those who have served in the military and given their lives for their country, and those who continue to serve, during Memorial Day observances.

A parade with more than 20 units will precede services planned by the Austin Memorial Day Committee. Parade participants should line up at the Austin Area School at 9:15 am. The parade kicks off at 10.

Guest speaker for service which follows on the town square in Austin will be SPC Kerry Ehrensberger, 347 QM Company Detachment 1 of St. Marys. A light lunch at the Austin Firehall will follow the service. Anyone who wishes to donate baked goods, chips, sandwiches or beverages may drop them off at the firehall Monday morning.

Lineup for Emporium's Memorial Day parade will begin at 9 am in the Olivett's and VFW lot, with the marchers stepping off at 10. In addition to area veterans, emergency apparatus, floats, scout groups and motorcycles will take part in the parade. Anyone wishing to participate should contact Barry Sarick at 486-7954 or Jamie Fragale, 486-2234.

Parade units will proceed to the war monuments, with traditional services, including the laying of wreaths by VFW Auxiliary members, to be held. A bridge ceremony in memory of those lost at sea is also planned.

Guest speaker will be local veteran Howard "Mac" McDonald, who is involved with the new Veterans Museum project. Chaplain will be Gary Atkinson, U.S. Navy veteran. A luncheon for parade participants will be served by Auxiliary members at the Emporium VFW.

Coudersport's parade lineup will begin at 10:30 am Monday on Allegany Avenue. Veterans, scout troops and other marchers are expected; anyone who wishes to participate is welcome, according to George Locke, commander of American Legion Post 192. Marchers will step off at 11 am and proceed to the courthouse square for traditional ceremonies.

Dan Stefanowich returns as guest speaker. He is a Vietnam veteran, a former helicopter pilot with the 335th Assault Helicopter Company, "The Cowboys," perhaps the most distinguished aviation company to serve in Vietnam.

The observance will include the traditional wreath laying and patriotic music by the Coudersport High School Marching Band, concluding with a 21-gun salute by the Legion Honor Guard. Participants are invited to attend a luncheon at Potter Post 192 following the service.

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