There has been a change to the schedule for Tamaqua's Annual Memorial Day events. This year's parade will "kick off" at 10 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. Lawrence J. Kabana has been named as the parade's Grand Marshall, while Neal E. Smith will be the featured speaker for the service at the Odd Fellows Cemetery.
The parade will be held on Monday, May 30. The kickoff will be held at the Rahn Township Memorial on East Broad Street at 9:45 a.m., with the Color Guard of C.H. Berry Post 173 of the American Legion, Tamaqua, rendering honors. The parade will form in the 700 block of East Broad Street and the area of the former CVS building.
The Legion Post 173 Color Guard will lead the parade, followed by Grand Marshal Kabana, Tamaqua Business and Professional Women's Club Young Woman of the Year, Tamaqua Poppy Queen McKayla McLaughlin, and Major Sharon Whispell of the Tamaqua Salvation Army, who will serve as clergy for the cemetery service at Odd Fellows.
Also included in the line-up will be the Marian Catholic High School Band, the Tamaqua Area High School Raider Band, the 18th North Carolina Reenactment Group, various Boy and Girl Scout units, the Tamaqua and Tuscarora Fire Companies, Tamaqua Ambulance and Rescue Squad, the West Penn Township VFW and members of Company C, 109th Armor, Pennsylvania National Guard. The parade will march the length of Broad Street and conclude at the Odd Fellows Cemetery. At the cemetery, there will be a release of biodegradable red, while and blue balloons during the reading of the deceased veterans. The release is being coordinated by Stephen Ulicny, advisor of the Tamaqua Area Student Government Association and TASGA members.
The parade will be held rain or shine, unless there is a forecast of thunder storms. Anyone interested in joining the parade can do so by contacting Jon Zizelmann at (570) 668-0390.
Lawrence J. Kabana
Kabana is a 1957 graduate of Tamaqua High School, the son of John and Helen (Starry) Kabana of Tuscarora. He was drafted in to the U.S. Army in 1963 and honorably served at Fort Knox, KY; Fort Jackson, S.C; Frankfort, Germany; and was honorably discharged from Fort Dix, NJ. He served 12 years with the Hometown Unit of the Pennsylvania National Guard.
Married to the former Nancy Wolfe, he has two sons, Kevin in Michigan and John of Tamaqua; and four grandchildren, Leanne, Michael, Brett and Katie. A resident of Tamaqua since 1972, he retired from employment at the Pottsville Hospital and Warne Clinic in 2002.
Kabana is a member of the Tamaqua American Legion, C.H. Berry Post 173, where he served as First and Second Vice Commander, Commander and Service Officer; is a life member of the West Penn Rod and Gun Club; and the South Ward Fire Company.
Neal E. Smith
Smith is the son of Lamont and Mildred Smith and was born and reared in Tamaqua. A 1964 graduate of the Thaddeus Stevens Trade School, he was awarded an A.B in English Literarture from Marywood University and a Master's of Divinity degree from the Reformed Episcopal Seminary. Ordained into the ministry in 1970, he served Primitive Methodist Churches in Hatboro, Beaver Falls, Wilkes-Barre and Girardville.
Commissioned a U.S. Navy Chaplain in 1981, lieutenant junior grade, he completed chaplain training in Newport, R.I. From there, he served aboard the aircraft carrier CV 64, the USS Constellation, homeported in San Diego from 1981 to 1983. His naval carrier also included a deployment to the Persian Gulf, a posting at Barbers Point Naval Air Station, Hawaii, from 1983-1985; stationed at Naval Submarine Base Pearl Harbor, attached to Submarine Squadron 7 from 1985-1988; and serving in the Naval Reserves from 1988 to 2004, retiring at the rank of Commander. Smith retired from active ministry in 2009.
A member of American Legion Post 0732, Bernville, he resides in McKeansburg with his wife, the former Virginia Mease. They have three chilren.