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Penn Hills, Plum vets join for Memorial Day ceremony

| Friday, May 17, 2013, 6:10 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For the Penn Hills Progress
Parade watchers line the roadway as last year's Memorial Day parade passes down Frankstown Road to the municipal building.
Lillian DeDomenic | For the Penn Hills Progress
Walter Gledhill, Commander of the American Legion Post 351 and Penn Hills Mayor Anthony DeLuca place ceremonial wreaths during the observance of Memorial Day in 2012.

Veterans' groups in the east suburbs will be doing more than enjoying the opening of pool season for Memorial Day.

They will be honoring the men and women who gave their lives fighting America's wars.

In Penn Hills, members of the Penn-Plum Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 6836 host an annual Memorial Day ceremony at Mt. Hope Community Church on Frankstown Road with the playing of “Taps” and a 21-gun salute. The group also holds a poppy sale Memorial Day weekend, said Ervin Boyd Jr., post quartermaster and adjutant.

Money from the poppies goes into a relief fund for hospitalized veterans, Boyd said.

“Those vets are not supplied with hygiene-related items, so we buy a lot of toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, underwear and that type of thing,” he said.

VFW poppy sales will take place throughout the holiday weekend at Shop 'n Save on Universal Road, Community Market on Milltown Road, and Shop 'n Save and Stanford Lumber, both located on Route 286 in Plum.

American Legion Post No. 980, also in Plum, hosts an annual memorial service on the Sunday prior to Memorial Day, according to post Commander Michael Shields. The post's honor guard participates in holiday activities outside the post.

Another member, who is also a guard at the Allegheny County Jail, joins together with local Boy Scouts to place hundreds of flags on veterans' graves in the Homewood Cemetery.

Volunteers perform a similar service at the Plum Creek Cemetery, a tradition that dates more than 50 years according to cemetery staff.

And, of course, there are parades aplenty.

In Penn Hills, the parade will step off at 11:30 a.m., leaving from Frankstown Road by St. Bartholomew's Church and proceeding up Frankstown to the municipal building.

Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or pvarine@tribweb.com.

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