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Heritage Days honors community heroes

| Wednesday, July 3, 2002

FORD CITY - The unsung heroes of the community - the police, firemen and EMS personnel - were honored at this year's Heritage Days celebration.

Ford City Police Chief Jan Lysakowski, Ford City Fire Chief Ron Wojcik and EMS manager Mike Markilinski were there to cut the ribbon that officially opened Ford City Heritage Days yesterday.

"We honor and thank them," said Heritage Days committee member Homer Pendleton. "The unsung heroes of Ford City and also of Sept. 11."

Lysakowski said he appreciated that the community thought to honor the borough's public servants.

"I'm out there and I see the firemen, medical workers and police at work and the job they do," said Lysakowski.

Though this year's Heritage Days is about the community's protectors, each and every year it's about the community.

"Heritage Days is about a sense of community," said Mayor Jeff Pyle. "A place where you can fall asleep with the doors open. We look after each other. That's the spirit of Heritage Days."

The Heritage Days Choir made up of singers from across the county led everyone in singing "The Star Spangled Banner."

The choir has participated in every Heritage Days with John Reale as its original director and Ada Jean Hoffman the current director.

State Rep. Jeff Coleman, R-60th, and Armstrong County Judge Joseph Nickleach spoke at the opening ceremony. Borough council members and county row officers were also in attendance.

Coleman compared Ford City's event to one he viewed at Ellis Island saying the two were similar celebrations of the country's diverse heritage.

Nickleach told the crowd to take the spirit of community with them and to try to impress it on others.

Heritage Days will conclude Saturday with a parade scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. and last approximately 2 to 2-½ hours. The route will remain the same as in previous years traveling from 11th Street to Fifth Street along Fifth Avenue and then from Fifth Avenue to 10th Street on Fourth Avenue.

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