A four-division parade, consisting of 88 units, presented a spectacular tribute to military members and veterans yesterday in Summit Hill.
The parade, which consisted of seven bands, took over an hour to pass.
There were three high school bands in the line of march: Panther Valley, Marian Catholic and Jim Thorpe. Our Lady Of the Angels Academy Band also participated.
Two drum and bugle corps and a makeshift band of Summit Hill Hootenanny members were included in the line of march.
Leonard J. "Lenny" Ogozalek, 69, a military veteran and a longtime firefighter and fire police member, led the parade as the grand marshal.
Born in Lansford, he is a son of 102-year-old Mrs. Anna (Porambo) Ogozalek, a guest at the Mahoning Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Mahoning Township, and the late Joseph Ogozalek, who in 1949 was killed in the mines when Lenny was only 5 years old.
Len graduated from the former SS. Peter and Paul Parochial School, Lansford, and in 1961 from Marian High School, after which time he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving from 1961-65.
Tom Vermillion, chairman of the Memorial Day Parade Committee, was pleased with the turnout of marchers and spectators.
"The weather was great," he said. "I'm very happy with the way everything turned out today."
He praised the other committee members, stating, "Everyone worked hard putting the parade together and we are very happy with the community's support."
Veterans groups, fire departments, ambulance corps, dance studios, motorcycle riders, and service organizations from throughout the region took part in the parade.
"It's a marvelous parade," said Josephine Marillo of Whitehall, who was visiting friends. "It's one of the best Memorial Day parades I've seen. Congratulations to Summit Hill."
The parade was officially started by Ogozalek, who was joined by his son, Lennie Ogozalek, and his daughter, Debbie Weaver, as they rang the Ludlow Park bell.