It's a day to fly the flag at half-staff, visit cemeteries and memorials.
It's also a day to commemorate our soldiers who have died while in the military service, as will be the case at Palmerton's Memorial Day Parade.
The parade will start at 10 a.m. Monday, May 30, at Second and Delaware Avenue. It will form at 9:30 a.m. at Dynamite Woodworking, at Second and Delaware Avenue. From there, it will continue on to Fifth and Delaware, where it will turn left at the former IGA Golden Key Market to Franklin Avenue, and then back to the park, where it will disband.
As always, there will be no parking on Delaware Avenue from Second Street East to Fifth Street, on Fifth Street between Delaware Avenue, and on the 400 block of Franklin Avenue from Fifth Street to Fourth Street from 8-11 a.m.
The parade will once again be sponsored by the United Veteran's Organization of Palmerton, which is comprised of American Legion Post 269 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7134.
Bethany Thomas, a member of Palmerton Girl Scout troop 3112, will serve as Miss Poppy. Bethany, a student at S.S. Palmer Elementary, is the daughter of Laura and Darren Thomas of Bowmanstown. Andrew Proffit, a member of Palmerton Cub Pack 41, will serve as Legion Mascot. Andrew, a student at Towamensing Elementary, is the son of Michelle and Brian Profitt of Kunkletown.
The Legion Mascot and Miss Poppy will bring the wreath for the Veterans monument at the borough hall through the parade. The parade will stop to place the wreath at the monument on Delaware Avenue in honor of all veterans.
Parade participants will include veterans, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts Fire Companies and service personnel.
Services will be held immediately after the parade in the borough park. In case of rain, the services will be inside the S.S. Palmer Elementary School adjacent to the park. In case of inclement weather, the parade will not be held, and the services would be moved to the S.S. Palmer gymnasium at 10 a.m.
The opening address for the services will be given by Palmerton Mayor Brad Doll.
The guest speakers for this year's event are Joe Uhnak, Bruce Reiner and Ed Moyer. All three individuals served in the Vietnam Era.
Uhnak and Reiner served in the Army, while Moyer served in the Air Force. The men are active members of the Palmerton American Legion, as well as committee members for the upcoming Veterans Memorial to be placed in the Palmerton Borough Park.
Susie Arner, committee chair, said the Palmerton American Legion "has chosen these men as speakers to allow hometown heroes the chance to speak of their experiences in the presence of their fellow community members."
Any groups that would like to participate in the parade are encouraged to call Moyer at 610-504-6680 or Arner at 610-826-7515 for details.
Arner said the entire community is asked to "please come out and show the veterans how thankful we are for our freedom."
"We hope that many people will line the parade route and then join us for the morning to recognize this important holiday," Arner said. "We truly think Memorial Day and the fallen soldiers are well explained with a quote from James Garfield, "For love of country they accepted death"..."
Those who would like to obtain a poppy may do so at the services, said Arner, who added the scouts in attendance will circulate with poppies and accept donations for them. The proceeds will go to the Palmerton American Legion for their projects, she said.
The Palmerton UVO has placed flags on veterans graves in all of the Palmerton and Bowamstown cemeteries. In the event any veteran was missed, flags may be picked up at Vic's Time, located at 450 Delaware Avenue, or the Palmerton VFW, located at 2020 Forest Inn Rd.