Scottdale, neighboring communities plan Memorial Day events
Area communities have a number of services planned to observe Memorial Day and honor those who died in military service.
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday, which occurs every year on the final Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
The borough's observance begins with the Scottdale Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7781 and the American Legion Post 240 leading a parade at 10:30 a.m. from the monument at the Rite Aid parking lot.
The parade will travel on Broadway Street to the Scottdale Cemetery for a service.
The guest speaker will be Marsha Myers, a retired major from the United States Air Force. Myers was born in Scottdale and is a 1991 graduate of Southmoreland High School.
Myers held a number of positions in the Air Force, including director of staff for the Space Innovation Development Center and Air Force Departmental Requirements Officer for the Pentagon. She's also had stints in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain. In 2012, Myers was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Her awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Joint Service Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon.
Another service will be held at the St. John's Cemetery in Scottdale.
Once the ceremonies have been completed, folks are invited to the American Legion Post 240 for refreshments and socializing.
Any veteran who wants to march is invited to do so.
Those who want to participate, but can't march, can ride in the back of the army truck of Barry Kramer of Scottdale VFW.
There will be a community memorial service beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Alverton Cemetery.
Everson VFW Hamilton-Maloy Post 595 will remember those who have been part of our country's military and are deceased during three separate Memorial Day services to be conduced Monday.
A community program will begin at 9 a.m. at the Everson Veterans' Memorial, Brown and Jones streets. This event is sponsored by Everson VFW Post 595, Everson Borough Council and mayor and the Everson Volunteer Fire Company in cooperation with Everson Boy Scout Troop 160, Scottdale VFW Post 7781 and Scottdale American Legion Post 240.
Scheduled as part of the program are patriotic selections to be sung by Jessica Kramer, who will sing the national anthem, and Taney Basinger, a medley of service songs.
Tony Osip will read the names of the Everson area servicemen who lost their lives while on active duty and whose names are inscribed on the Veterans' Monument. In addition, those military veterans from the Everson area who have died since last Memorial Day will be formally recognized.
Guest speaker this year will be Doug Kelley who resides in Everson Valley. Kelley is a former Marine, who had served as Scoutmaster of Everson Boy Scout Troop 160 for more than 20 years until his retirement from that position. He currently serves as a troop committeeman.
Other highlights will include the solemn placement of flowers, a rifle salute and the echoing of military taps with Leslie Yoders scheduled as bugler. George Sherbondy, Commander, Everson VFW Post 595, will serve as officer of the day and members of Everson Boy Scout Troop will be honorary participants. Pastor Kevin Murrell, Everson Evangelical Church and the Rev. John Sedlak, pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Everson are scheduled to give the invocation and benediction. Borough Council Mike Banaszak will be master of ceremonies, with Randy Smith serving as technical coordinator.
For the observance, traffic will be rerouted around the memorial area with the fire company providing traffic control. Parking will be available in the firemen's parking lot, Painter and Jones streets.
Traditional VFW buddy-poppies will be available for a donation. All monies collected will go to the Everson VFW Relief Fund. The Boy Scouts will assist with poppy distribution.
At 10:15 a.m. the VFW will conduct a military Memorial Service at St. John Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Scottdale, followed by a similar service at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Cemetery in Everson Valley at 11:15 a.m. These start times are approximate and the public is invited to be a part of each.
Following these three Memorial Day ceremonies, all are invited to the VFW social hall on Graft Street for hot dogs and refreshments, scheduled to be ready at 11:45 a.m.
All Everson residents are encouraged to participate in these tributes to our Armed Forces. Residents are asked to display the American Flag the entire Memorial Day weekend. For additional information on these activities, contact Banaszak at 724-887-0569 or George Sherbondy at 724-887-8781.
A parade will be held in the borough at 10:30 a.m. followed by a ceremony at Veterans Park. Bob Biller, a military veteran of World War II, will serve as the parade's honorary marshal.
The program's master of ceremonies will be Gene Calabrase, a member of the executive committee of the James E. Zundell American Legion Post 446 in the borough.
The program also will include:
• Placing of wreaths — Ladies Auxiliaries of the James E. Zundell American Legion Post 446 and the Mt. Pleasant Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3368;
• National Anthem — Mt. Pleasant Area Senior High School Band;
• Remarks — Mayor Jerry Lucia;
• Principal speaker — Sgt. First Class Timothy J. Snyder, 110th Infantry Active Guard/Reserve, U.S. Army veteran;
• Salute — Firing Squad, James E. Zundell American Legion Post 446 & Mt. Pleasant VFW Post 3368 with Bill Lozier commanding;
• Taps and Echo — Trumpeter, Mt. Pleasant Area Senior High School Band.
A program will be held at 9:15 a.m. at the Westmoreland Homesteads Memorial in Norvelt.
The program's master of ceremonies will be Norvelt District Judge Roger F. Eckels. The program also will include:
• Invocation — The Rev. David Greer, pastor of Norvelt Union Church;
• Pledge of Allegiance — Boy Scout Troop 472 and Girl Scout Troop 22062;
• National Anthem — Mt. Pleasant Area Senior High School Band;
• Guest Speaker — John W. Peck, Westmoreland County district attorney;
• Memorial Ceremony for Westmoreland Homesteads Volunteer Fire Department's deceased firemen — Mike Grec;
• Placing of the wreath — Donald Hudec;
• Benediction — The Rev. David Greer;
• Salute — AMVETS Post 94;
• Taps and Echo - MPAHS Band.
A service in Hecla will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Hecla Honor Roll.
AMVETS Post 94 of United will provide honor guard, firing squad and play taps for those who have served.
Wreaths will be placed by AMVETS Post 94, Slovak Sportsmen's Club of Hecla, Veterans of Hecla Memorial Fund and the Hecla Volunteer Fire Department.
Services will then move inside the Shirley Porterfield Memorial Hall and continue with the Invocation by Sister Georgia Litzen, S.C. Doran Hall, Greensburg.
The national anthem will be led by Larry Ahlborn, pianist.
Jay Porterfield, the service's master of ceremonies, will introduce the speaker for the service's keynote speaker — U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andrew J. Auckerman.
For the conclusion, the folding and presentation of the American flag will take place.
A.J. Panian contributed to this story. Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.