What a salute to veterans in Summit Hill, Monday.
Following a stirring service in Ludlow park, a parade lasting an hour and 20 minutes passed, with the entire route packed with people – most wearing patriotic attire or red, white and blue.
The parade was started with World War II Navy veteran Jack Bryant, 88, of Summit Hill, ringing the large bell in Ludlow Park. At his side was his wife, Fay.
Korean War veteran Mario Iezzoni of Summit Hill spoke during the community service and related his days serving in Korea. He told how a good friend from Connecticut was killed in battle, and how he comforted that friend until the end.
After 59 years, Iezonni said, with the help of Summit Hill Mayor Paul McArdle, he was able to track down members of his friend’s family in Connecticut and tell them about the soldier’s heroic death.
Bryant led the parade riding in a convertible. He was followed by members of the Summit Hill American Legion Post and the 54-member, Panther Valley High School marching band. After that was the elite, 38 member, ROTC unit of Panther Valley High.
The parade had floats, local youth sports groups, Scouting units, veterans groups from other communities, dance squads, numerous bands, local organizations, and a lot of fire apparatus.
Tom Vermillion, chairman of the Summit Hill Memorial Day Committee, said, “It’s a beautiful day and a great turnout.".
Elliot Mansfield of Bethlehem was visiting friends and watched the parade.
“This is one of the best Memorial Day parades I’ve seen,” he said. “A great job by this small community.”