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Perryopolis announces Memorial Day plans

| Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 8:12 p.m.

Perryopolis and Perry Township VFW Gold Star Post 7023 and American Legion Post 752 will conduct a Memorial Day service at 10 a.m. May 27 in the Frazier High School auditorium.

The Frazier High School/Middle School band directed by Matthew Retai will play the National Anthem.

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 recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Invocation to be given by the Rev. Kelley Schamely from Star Junction United Methodist Church.

Peter P. Pierotti, chairman of the Memorial Day program committee, will give brief remarks. Robert Chuboy, commander of VFW Post 7023, will deliver the welcoming address.

Norman L. Zimmerman, commander of American Legion Post 752, will introduce dignitaries attending. He will make a presentation to senior Bugler Josh Potter and Dylan Shanaberger.

John Cernuska, auditor of VFW Post 7023, will present the Patriotic Flag Raising Award to volunteer flag raisers of Frazier High School/ Frazier Middle School. They are Joshua Snyder, Benjamin Smith, and Steven Brown. From Perry Elementary are Logan Hartman, Alex Poorbaugh, Skye Eicher and Hattie Linder and from Central Elementary are Mackenzie Astle, John Booley, Quinn Whitehead and Isabella Kudyba. Also to be thanked are middle school Principal Michael Turek and teachers Susan Guiser of Perry Elementary and Edward Elnikar of Central Elementary.

John Shortman, past commander 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 the 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.” Frazier High School student Mia N. Mahalko, winner of the Voice of Democracy contest, will present her oration “Is Our Constitution Relevant.”

The guest speaker for the Perryopolis Memorial Day Program is Vietnam War veteran and holder of two Purple Heart medals, Charles Thomas.

Thomas was born in Uniontown in 1949. He graduated from Laurel Highlands High School in 1967 and Penn State Fayette Campus in 1969.

Thomas is an Army veteran who served in South Vietnam in 1970. He was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division out of Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. He was assigned to L Company, Army Rangers, with the 75th Infantry Division and the 101 Airborne (Airmobile) Division. He reached the rank of sergeant and received two Purple Hearts in combat.

Upon returning home, he went to work for the U.S. Postal Service, retiring after 23 years service.

He is a member of Rolling Thunder Chapter 5, AMVETS, the American Legion and the VFW.

Now residing in Smock, he and his wife, Kim, have one daughter, Stacey. They have three grandsons, Kyle, Jacob and Caden; and one granddaughter, Skylar.

Retai will conclude the program by presenting a Memorial Day video.

In remembrance of veterans, program committee co-chairman Tony Fao will read the names of those who served in the 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. Hellman, 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 Fao and under the command of Thomas Glawinsky and George Timko, will 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.

The Memorial Day program is dedicated in honor of the veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

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