The Tamaqua American Legion is encouraging everyone, not just veterans, to participate in their annual Tamaqua's Veterans Day parade and celebration this Saturday morning.

Ed "Edward" Smith of Tamaqua was named Master Of Ceremonies and speaker at this year's Veterans Day celebration.

Smith, who served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era, is the father of two children, Edward Jr. of Tamaqua and Kristie Hess of Port Matilda. He also has three grandchildren, Haley, Diana, and Michael. Smith has two brothers, Daniel of Lake Hauto and James from Wylie, Texas; both of which are U.S Marine Corps veterans.

Smith, who is very active in the Pennsylvania American Legion, currently holds the State of Pennsylvania office as Assistant Sergeant at Arms. Smith said, "I was proud to be appointed to this honored position by Pennsylvania State American Legion Commander Joe Cocco of Shenandoah." Smith is the second white cap wearer from the Tamaqua post to wear the white cap, with the last one being in 1923. In addition, Smith holds the office of Deputy Commander for the 13th District, covering over two dozen posts in Schuylkill County.

He also recently announced his intention to run for Commander of the 13th District in the upcoming term, currently held by Commander Mary Zelnois of Mahanoy City. Adding to his state and district roles, Smith also holds the office of 2nd Vice Commander and trustee of the C.H. Berry Post 173 in Tamaqua. A 35 year member of the Tamaqua American Legion, Smith has held many offices in the post, to include Commander for three years.

Immediately following the parade, a Veterans Day ceremony and celebration will be held in front of the Tamaqua American Legion, 206 West Broad Street.

The parade coordinator stressed that everyone is encouraged to walk, march or drive side by side with veterans in the parade, to include businesses, churches, organizations, scout packs, fire companies and so on. Members of the Tamaqua Raider Band and Panther Valley JROTC will stage at the old MAFF Motors parking lot. All others are asked to stage at the Jamesway Plaza. Registration isn't not required. To register, call the parade coordinator at (570) 668-1234.

Parade staging starts at 9 a.m. the old Jamesway Plaza, 1200 East Broad Street. The parade will start promptly at 10 a.m. and continue through all of Broad Street.

"Veterans Day is held to celebrate and honor fellow veterans," said Joel Perry, post Commander, Tamaqua American Legion. "So spend a few minutes of your Saturday morning to remember a lifetime of sacrifice."