Mid-Mon Valley communities schedule Memorial Day events
By Chris Buckley
Published: Saturday, May 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Mid-Mon Valley Communities are planning services for Memorial Day, which honors those who have died in military service.
The following is a list of those services, by community.
The Donora Veterans Council and the Mon Valley Leathernecks will conduct the annual Memorial Day services Monday.
Main speaker will be David Mason, of American Legion J.F.K. Post 377 in California, who is currently a candidate for 25th District commander.
He is a 35-year-old member of the American Legion, five time past post commander, and has attended American Legion conventions, department executive committee meetings, legion college and western section meetings throughout the years. He is the 2012 district past commander of the year and Post 377 Legionnaire of the Year for 2012-13 and a Legion Rider.
The schedule of events is as follows:
Noon — Donora Veterans Memorial, south Donora
12:20 p.m. – St. Dominic Cemetery
12:30 p.m. – St. Michael Cemetery
1 p.m. – Main program at Mon Valley Memorial Park with Mason as speaker
1:40 p.m. – Grandview Memorial
2 p.m. – Delsandro Memorial
The Monongahela Veterans Council announces the following schedule for the Finleyville and Monongahela Memorial Day observances:
Sunday — Finleyville
Stone Church Cemetery, 1 p.m.
Saint Francis of Assisi, 1:15 p.m.
Mingo Creek Cemetery, 1:30 p.m.
Finleyville Cemetery, 1:45 p.m.
Finleyville Community Center, 2 p.m.
Speaker Colonel James Chisholm, commander 2nd Brigade 28th Infantry Division, and commander 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
Participating units report to Finleyville Post 613 at 12:30 p.m.
Refreshments will be served at the American Legion Post 613 immediately after Community Center ceremonies.
Monday – Monongahela
8:30 a.m., Parade units form at the intersection of Fourth and Main streets.
9 a.m., units march to First Street.
9:45 a.m., Services conducted at Monongahela Cemetery
Welcome — Tom Corey
Invocation — The Rev. John Fierro, True Vine Anglican Church
Flag Pledge — George Hutchko
Music selection — Ringgold High School Band
Logan's Orders — Matt Pringle
Introduce dignitaries — Bill Fawcett
Musical selection — Ringgold High School Band
Place Memorial Wreath — Mon Valley Leathernecks
Two Bell Naval Ceremony – Mid-Mon Valley Shipmates
Memorial tribute — Marge Hunter
Vocal selection — Kim Van Voorhis
Corey will introduce guest speaker.
Final remarks — Corey
Benediction — Pastor Henry Frain, Carpenters Shop Church, Webster
Rifle Salute — Mon Valley Honor Guard
Taps — Ringgold High School Band
Additional services will be conducted as follows:
Victory Hill, 11 a.m.
New Eagle, noon
Sacred Heart Cemetery, 1 p.m.
Van Voorhis Honor Roll, 1:30 p.m.
Ginger Hill Memorial, 3 p.m.
Hazelkirk Memorial, 2:30 p.m.
Hazelkirk Bridge dedication, 3 p.m.
Carroll Township American legion, 3:30 p.m., refreshments.
American Legion Post 484, Fayette City, will hold a Memorial Day program 11 a.m. Monday at the Mount Auburn Cemetery.
Madonna Nicklow will be the guest speaker for this year's program.
Nicklow began her career in 1986 in the Fayette County Tax Claim Bureau. After serving 15 years, she was transferred to Fayette County Veteran Affairs and received her accreditation with The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs in 2003. In 2006, she became the Chief Veterans Service Officer and served in that position until 2012 when she became the Director of the Fayette County Office of Veterans Affairs.
She has certification through the Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Vietnam Veterans of America, the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers, and is a member of the Pennsylvania State Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs. A native of Uniontown, she resides in Smithfield.
A parade in downtown Fayette City, beginning at 10 a.m., will precede the program at Mount Auburn Cemetery. The line of march will be led by Post 484 Honor Guard and also will include participation by the Legion Riders, the Belle Vernon Area High School Band, a World War II military vehicle, Boy Scouts Troop 1543, the Fayette City VFD, and local children. In the event of inclement weather, the program will be moved from the cemetery to the Fayette City Alliance Church in Brownstown.
J.F.K. Post 377 American Legion, California, will honor deceased military veterans on Memorial Day.
The honor guard will be firing at the following memorials:
Daisytown — 8 a.m.
Smallwood — 8:30 a.m.
Coal Center — 9 a.m.
Civil War Memorial — 9:30 a.m.
Liberty Circle — 11 a.m.
River Wharf — immediately following services at Liberty Circle.
At Liberty Circle there will be school awards presentations, guest speakers and Scouts.
An open house with food and refreshments will be held at the post home immediately following the river wharf wreath presentation.
Unserviceable flags can be brought to the post at Second and Union streets at any time. A proper flag retirement service will be held at 7 p.m. on Flag Day, June 14, at Rotary Park. A short memorial service will be held.
Perryopolis, Perry Township
Perryopolis and Perry Township VFW Gold Star Post 7023 and American Legion Post 752 will conduct their Memorial Day service at 10 a.m. Monday at the Frazier High School auditorium. It will begin with the playing of the national anthem by the Frazier High School/Middle School Band, directed by Matthew Retai.
Boy Scout Troop 625 and Scoutmaster Gregory Potter; Cadet Troop 54078, Leaders Dana Boyd and Lorri Clem; and Cub Scout Pack 626 and Pack Leader Lisa Maurer will then recite the flag pledge in unison with the audience.
Following will be the invocation to be given by the Rev. Kelley Schamely, Star Junction United Methodist Church.
Peter P. Pierotti, chairman of the Memorial Day Program Committee, will begin the program with some brief remarks. Robert Chuboy, commander of VFW Post 7023, will follow with the welcoming address.
Norman L. Zimmerman, commander of American Legion Post 752, will introduce the dignitaries attending the services. He will then make a presentation to senior bugler Josh Potter and Dylan Shanaberger.
John Cernuska, auditor of VFW Post 7023, will then present the Patriotic Flag Raising Award to volunteer flag raisers of Frazier High School/Frazier Middle School: Joshua Synder, Benjamin Smith and Steven Brown; Perry Elementary: Logan Hartman, Alex Poorbaugh, Skye Eicher, and Hattie Linder; and Central Elementary: Mackenzie Astle, John Booley, Quinn Whitehead and Isabella Kudyba. Thanks go to sponsors middle school Principal Michael Turek and teachers Susan Guiser of Perry Elementary and Edward Elnikar of Central Elementary for their dedication to this program.
John Shortman, past com-mander of VFW Post 7023, will introduce and present awards to the winners of the Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy Contests. The awards are sponsored by the VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary. Logan Muzina, Frazier Middle School, is the winner of the Patriots Pen contest and will read her essay, “What I Would Tell Americas Founding Fathers.” Next, Frazier High School student Mia N. Mahalko, winner of the Voice of Democracy contest, will present her oration “Is Our Constitution Relevant.”
Following the presentation of the awards, members of the Frazier Band will perform patriotic musical selections under the direction of Retai.
Guest speaker for the Perryopolis Memorial Day program is Vietnam Veteran and holder of two Purple Heart Medals, Charles Thomas.
Thomas was born in Uniontown. He graduated from Laurel Highlands High School in 1967 and Penn State Fayette Campus in 1969. He is an Army veteran who served in South Vietnam in 1970. He was a member of the 82 Air-borne Division out of Ft. Bragg, N.C. He was assigned to L Company, U.S. Army Rangers, with the 75 Infantry Division and the 101 Airborne (Airmobile) Division. He reached the rank of sergeant and received two Purple Hearts in combat. Returning home, he went to work for the U.S. Post Office, retiring after 23 years of service. Thomas is a member of Rolling Thunder Chapter 5, AMVETS, the American Legion and the VFW. He now resides in Smock with his wife Kim and has a daughter, Stacey. He has three grandsons, Kyle, Jacob, and Caden; and one granddaughter, Skylar.
At the conclusion of Thomas' speech, Retai will present a Memorial Day video.
In remembrance of former veterans, Program Committee Co-chairman Tony Fao will read aloud the names of those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and died in 2012 and 2013. The following veterans will be honored: Harry E. Askey, Robert E. Black, Paul Bubnash, Allen G. Carson, Lawrence W. Colebank, Leonard Colelli, John Crossan, James A. Davis, John W. Farlow, John J. Fleming, Robert R. Gantner, Albert J. Giocondi Sr., Laddie Griglak, Edward J. Heilman, William A. Karbowsky, Peter Kriss, Timothy Kroeger, Ronald Lape, Raymond P. Lasko, Harry A. Livingston Jr., Thomas S. Matty, Jack H. Mood, John Onusko, John T. Pierotti, James P. Reagan, Charles H. Sparrow Jr., Robert Taylor, Albert J. Vangura and Leonard Wojcik.
Ross Ackinclose, lay minister, will give the benediction.
The services will continue at the honor roll adjacent to the school with Michael Vindivich, lay speaker, delivering a Memorial and Dedication Prayer. Boy Scout Troop 625, under the direction of Scoutmaster Gregory Potter, will raise the American flag and lower it to half-staff and place wreaths at the honor roll. The ceremonial firing squad, under the direction of Tony A. Fao Sr., and under the command of Thomas Glawinsky and George Timko, will then fire the traditional salute for fallen comrades.
Ending the tribute will be the playing of taps by the Frazier Band buglers Josh Potter and Russell Potter.
This Memorial Day program is dedicated in honor of the veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
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