Perhaps the worst casualty of war is to be forgotten.
That certainly wasn't the case at the Memorial Day Parade in Palmerton on Monday sponsored by the United Veteran's Organization of Palmerton, which consists of the American Legion Post 269 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7134.
The parade formed at Dynamite Woodworking, at Second and Delaware Avenue, where it continued on to Fifth and Delaware. From there, it turned left at the former IGA Golden Key Market to Franklin Avenue, and then back to the park, where it disbanded. Along the way, a wreath made by Jane Stroup was placed at the monument in front of Borough Hall along Delaware Avenue.
Parade participants included members of the Legion, VFW, veterans, Blue Ridge Council 179 of New Tripoli - Daughters of America, Palmerton Cub Pack 41, Palmerton Boy Scout Troop 20, Palmerton Boy Scout Troop 41, Palmerton Girl Scout Troop 3112, Palmerton Girl Scout Troop 33412, Palmerton Girl Scout Troop 3127, Palmerton Fire Dept., Aquashicola Fire Dept., and Palmerton Ambulance. Brownie scout Kaja German served as Miss Poppy, while Cub Scout Zachary Reif served as Legion Mascot.
Services were held immediately afterward in the borough park, where all the service members presently serving in the Armed Forces were acknowledged, as were all the veterans who attended the service.
There were three guest speakers; World War II veteran Al Kohler, Korean War veteran Paul Papay, and Vietnam veteran Victor Jahelka.
Kohler served in the U.S. Navy during World War II from 1943-46.
"Freedom is not cheap," Kohler said.
Papay served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietman War from 1959-63.
"Today we enjoy our freedoms and rights because of these young men and women," Papay said.
Jahelka served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War from 1965-67.
"There is not one generation here today that has not experienced loss by war," Jahelka said.
Frank "Jay" Hall, Valedictorian for the Palmerton Area High School Class of 2010, read "Flanders Field". The high school chorus also performed.
Certificates for continuance membership to the Legion were presented to Charles Zaengle and Billy Heinick.
It was announced that Frank Zelinsky was expected to return home later in the day from his fifth tour of Afghanistan.
Finally, Kohler read off the list of the 44 veterans buried at the two funeral homes in Palmerton since last Memorial Day.
Donations for flag pins were collected to help defray the cost of the Veterans Memorial that is planned for the borough park.