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West Newton, neighboring communities honor the fallen Monday

| Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 9:11 p.m.

Communities in the area are holding Memorial Day events, including parades and services to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of America's freedoms. Some events are described here as submitted by each respective community.

West Newton Borough

West Newton's Memorial Day event is sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7812 and includes a parade followed by a service at West Newton Cemetery's Memorial Grove. The parade forms at the corner of Fifth and Vine streets at 8:30 a.m. and begins promptly at 9 a.m.

The parade moves to Main Street and heads west, pausing at the World War I memorial plaque and rendering honors. The parade then stops on the West Newton Bridge where the “Casting of the Wreath” ceremony will be conducted honoring those who died at sea. The parade continues to West Newton Cemetery, entering through the “old gates” and ending at the Memorial Grove.

The parade will be led by the VFW Honor Guard. Also participating will be fire companies from West Newton, Collinsburg, Sutersville and Turkeytown, the Blue Knights Chapter 16 (weather permitting), Daisy and Brownie troops, Rostraver/West Newton Emergency Services, the Yough Intermediate Middle School band, Little League teams, members of West Newton Borough Council and other dignitaries.

The program at the cemetery will start with music performed by the Yough band then continue with the flag raising and national anthem. Pastor Renee Mikell, First United Methodist Church, West Newton, will perform the invocation.

The West Newton Community Singers will perform, followed by opening remarks by Dee Taylor. Guests include Michael Weinhofer, VFW Post Commander, members of West Newton Borough Council, Mayor Mary Popovich and guest speaker Daniel Repovz.

Smithton Borough

The Smithton American Legion Post 790 will hold its annual Memorial Day parade and service on Monday at 12:30 p.m. The parade will begin at Third and Peer streets, immediately followed by a service at the American Legion Community Park.

The Rev. Allen Riethmiller will offer the invocation and benediction. The keynote speaker is state Rep. Ted Harhai of the 58th district. Harhai serves on the Public Employee Retirement Commission as well as several caucuses in Harrisburg including, for example, the Firefighters and Emergency Services Caucus, Autism Caucus, Southwest Caucus, Coal Caucus, Alzheimer's Caucus, Italian Caucus and the Pennsylvania Historical Preservation Caucus.

Also participating in this year's festivities is Mary Brennan, 1997 Yough graduate and 2013 Mrs. Pennsylvania. A mother of four children, Brennan lives in Gibsonia with her husband, Jay Kucinic, a Smithton native.

The color guard will be conducted by Legionnaires of American Legion Post 790. Parade participants will include the Smithton Fire Department, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, American Legion Auxiliary and other community groups.

Smithton American Legion will also have a firing squad at the Barren Run United Methodist church at 11 a.m., and at the monument in Jacobs Creek at 11:30 a.m.

Community groups and veterans who would like to participate should contact Post Commander David Primm at 724-872-4084 or e-mail

Sutersville Borough

Sutersville's Memorial Day program begins with a parade at 11 a.m. featuring the Yough Intermediate Middle School band directed by Justin Gillott.

A service immediately follows the parade at the memorial located on First Avenue next to the Sutersville Moose.