A weekend to remember
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Logan Haines, 6, of Summit Hill, holds a red, white, and blue toy gun while Issac Hahn, also 6, of Philadelphia, holds up a "God Bless the U.S.A." sign, during the Memorial Day Parade on Monday in Summit Hill. Passing by is the Pocono Region Bagpipe Band.
Neither picnics nor swimming seemed to harm the turnout at the annual Summit Hill Memorial Day Parade.
The five-division line-up had crowds along the entire parade route. It featured four bands, 28 pieces of fire apparatus, five ambulances, floats, community groups, military members, and, of course, veterans.
"This is an awesome parade," said Cassie Malatak of Dover, Delaware, who said she tries to always come to Summit Hill and visit friends on the day of the parade.
"It's an incredible tribute to veterans. I don't know of any town that has such an event. It's a community success and a wonderful remembrance of fallen soldiers."
The hourlong parade was led by Grand Marshal Perry Shelton, a 1965 graduate of Panther Valley High School and a veteran of the Vietnam War.
In a service prior to the parade, Shelton told a large gathering in Ludlow Park that he was honored and humbled to be selected grand marshal.
Bands that participated were the Panther Valley High School Band, the Marian Catholic High School Band, the Blue Eagles Drum and Bugle Corps of Wind Gap, and the Pocono Region Bagpipe Band.
Prior to the start of the parade, the bagpipe band performed in Ludlow, playing the military themes and the hymn "Amazing Grace."
Looking impressive in the march was the Panther Valley High School Jr. ROTC. About 20 members took part in the parade.
Also well represented was the Summit Hill American Legion Post 316. About 25 members marched in their respective military uniforms. Prior to the march, the color guard of the group produced the firing squad that saluted the dead.
The Summit Hill Fire Department, 25 members strong, were neatly attired in navy suits, light blue shirts, and blue ties. Behind them were four firetrucks and a brush truck.
Making an annual bang in the parade is the Civil War Unit 81st Pa. Volunteers of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The dozen 81st members, accompanied by a couple in 1860s garb, stopped periodically to fire their muskets at intervals along the route.
The Lansford American Legion Post had a large float for its veterans.
Meanwhile, the Winnie the Pooh Day Care members were dressed patriotically in red, white, and blue and also rode in a float, waving flags.
Another veterans group to march was the Schuylkill Carbon Marine Corps League. Well represented with about 18 members in the line of march, the league also presented a float.
For Summit Hill residents, the parade also offers a gathering place for family and friends as a prelude to the annual Memorial Day picnics and gatherings.