Salute to service
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS The Lehighton United Veterans Organization color guard leads the Carbon County Veterans Parade, which consisted of five divisions, Sunday in Lehighton.
What a tribute veterans in Carbon County received on Sunday.
The annual Carbon County Veterans Parade was held in Lehighton, hosted by the Lehighton United Veterans Organization. The five-division parade consisted of scores of military veterans who marched or rode in vehicles, six bands, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and apparatus from most of the fire departments within the county.
There were floats, antique cars, motorcycles, and even Santa Claus in the line of march.
It took a full hour for the parade to pass the reviewing stand, which was located in front of the Lehighton Borough Annex.
Kenneth Stryker, a Korean War veteran from Macungie who watched the parade, said, "It's an impressive parade and it is good to see the veterans honored like this."
The grand marshal was Lehighton funeral director Todd Kriner, who rode in a convertible with his wife, Andrea.
The parade was led by the Lehighton Police Department, followed by a mounted state police unit consisting of four troopers and their horses.
Fourteen members of the Lehighton UVO followed, including a firing squad which gave a gun salute in front of the reviewing stand.
The Palmerton UVO also had a firing squad which performed at the reviewing stand.
Behind the Lehighton UVO marchers was a small float depicting prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action. It showed a table with place settings with nobody sitting at it, and a ramshackle shed indicating the conditions those soldiers might be enduring.
Bands which performed in the parade were Lehighton Area High School Marching Band, Jim Thorpe High School Marching Band, Panther Valley High School Band, Weatherly High School Band, The Perseverance Jazz Band, and The Shriners Band, based in Easton. The Perseverance Jazz Band was led by Henry Long, a military veteran.
The parade was held under cloudy skies, with a brisk wind blowing. Although the temperature was about 50, the wind made it feel cooler.
One of the most impressive marching units was the JROTC of Panther Valley High School. About 55 members of the group wore fatigues and were all business along the parade route.
A most impressive float was by the Coaldale American Legion. On the back of a military truck was a silhouette of a soldier kneeling in prayer by a cross. A sign on the truck proclaimed, "Some Gave All."
Each band played different selections. The Lehighton High School Band performed military themes.
The Weatherly High School Band drew applause as it performed such selections as "God Bless America."
The Jukebox Cruisers Car Club was represented with 16 antique vehicles.
Carriages pulled by Clydesdale horses were in the parade by the Yuengling Brewery and Heisler's Dairy of Tamaqua.
The Lehighton Fire Department, with four vehicles, entered the parade from a fire call, a gas leak at a Second Street residence. It was one of two calls the fire department had Sunday morning.