Veterans and supporters lined Broad Street during Tamaqua's annual Veterans Day Parade Saturday. The parade is organized every year by the C.H. Berry Post 173 American Legion of Tamaqua.
Mary Zelonis, retired U.S. Army and Deputy Commander for the 13th District of the American Legion, served as grand marshal for the parade.
Ed Smith, adjutant for the Tamaqua American Legion post and 13th District Deputy Commander, pointed out the Legion's strong effort to keep veterans involved in the parade every year, pointing out that most participants in the parade, to include drivers of the police cars and fire trucks, are veterans. Tamaqua Police Officer and Navy veteran Matt Bynon led the Veterans Parade in a Tamaqua Police cruiser, while other veterans also drove or marched behind.
The beginning of the parade started off with a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps at the veterans memorial located outside the old MAFF Motors, currently Lech Transportation, on East Broad Street. Veterans, as well as civic organizations, scouts and anyone else who wanted to honor America's service personnel were also encouraged to participate in the parade.
Many organizations helped or participated in the parade, such as the Tamaqua Girl and Boy Scout troops, all Tamaqua fire companies, Hometown and Tuscarora fire companies, Tamaqua Salvation Army, Schuylkill Carbon Marine Corps League Detachment 626, Tamaqua Police, Homtown National Guard, Tamaqua American Legion Sons and Auxiliary, Tamaqua Raider Band, and others. Tamaqua Fire Police volunteers closed SR209 during the parade.
Parade onlooker Sandra Hauron of Tamaqua, who has never missed a Tamaqua Veterans Day Parade, stated the amount of people watching the parade was the largest she has ever seen. Tamaqua American Legion Commander Joel Perry stressed his appreciation to all the residents, supporters, and participants that got up early on Saturday to watch or participate in the Veterans Day parade.