Arnold, New Kensington band together to commemorate Veterans Day
Veterans organizations in Arnold and New Kensington have banded together to make sure Veterans Day continues to be commemorated in the cities.
The committee that had planned the annual parade had dwindled to less than a half-dozen people, but several groups have teamed to put on Saturday morning's events.
One of those veterans, 67-year-old New Kensington resident Jerry Galo, is working to make sure that remembrance continues in his community as chairman of the New Kensington Arnold Joint Veterans Committee.
That committee plans and executes the annual Veterans Day Parade through New Kensington and Arnold, scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday.
According to Galo, who served in Vietnam and the first Gulf War, the two cities have held an annual parade on Veterans Day for as long as he can remember.
When Galo, now retired, was still in the service, he said the two cities went above and beyond in supporting his unit's mission.
“Most of us feel like the city backed the reserves during Desert Storm,” he said. “I was a member of the 307th Military Police Company, and we were recognized by the city. They really made us feel welcome when we came home. When I came home, I thought it was my obligation to support the community that supported us.”
Angelo Enciso, a Vietnam veteran and master of ceremonies for Saturday's parade, said the city's two annual veterans events don't draw huge crowds but the people who show up are enthusiastic.
“I think people enjoy it,” he said. “We don't get many people out on either day, but enough to make it worth doing.
“If we didn't do it, I think that would be a slap in the face to every veteran in the community.”
Enciso said he is happy to help with the ceremonies, but that the task of planning the parades had grown exhausting for the small planning committee.
For the last several years, according to Enciso, the parade was planned and executed by less than a half-dozen people.
This year is different.
Enciso said cooperation between the local American Legions and the Disabled American Veterans club led to the forming of the new committee, which now meets monthly to make sure veterans are honored.
“We've already started planning Memorial Day, so it's going better,” he said.
Before the parade begins, there will be a ceremony at Roosevelt Park in Arnold.
After the ceremony, marchers will line up near the municipal building and head up Drey Street then onto Dr. Thomas Boulevard.
The parade will end with another ceremony at the Gold Star Mother's Memorial in New Kensington.