In Remembrance: Aston Commemorates Memorial Day
Aston residents exhibited their spirit of patriotism by participating in and attending Memorial Day observances. Due to the threat of rain, American Legion Post #926 canceled its annual parade, however, the post proceeded with a well attended, indoor ceremony in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy.
Post Commander Don Jenkins, who served as master of ceremonies, was followed by Bob Sexton who explained the significance of the POW empty seat ceremony.
Post #926 ladies auxiliary member Maryann Carpellini introduced poppy queens Cara DePaolantonio and Kayla Riley who presented a patriotic wreath.
The St. James High School Alumni Choir performed several patriotic hymns including “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and “God Bless America,” as well as the anthems that represent all branches of the armed forces.
Sons of the American Legion Chaplain Shane Jenkins read a poem stating that “Memorial Day is a day of remembrance,” and State Representative Leanne Kruger-Braneky, D-161, expressed appreciation to Post #926 for its dedication and service to the community.
Kruegar-Braneky said while enjoying picnics and other Memorial Day festivities, it is important to remember those who gave their lives so we might enjoy the freedoms we hold dear.
“Remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” she said. Today is meant to be a solemn time and we should not lose sight of the heroes who did not return.”
Aston Commissioners vice president Mike Higgins, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, quoted Presidents Ronald Reagan and John. F. Kennedy as well as Oliver Wendell Holmes, who served for 30 years on the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Today we remember the courage of all those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom,” Higgins said.
And, guest speaker, former Upland Post Commander and lifetime #926 member Bob Watson, spoke of the importance of maintaining American values.
Attendees were invited to stay after the ceremony for hot dogs, pretzels and beverages.
In the 2nd ward, monuments located at New and Mount Roads was the site of a wreath laying ceremony and tribute to the fallen.
Post #6613 Commander James Murphy served as master of ceremonies, and poppy Queens Addison Quaile and Miaya Jackson distributed poppies throughout the event.
The Penncrest High School Marching Band took part in the ceremony and wreaths were laid at both memorial sites.
St. Francis de Sales students Carrie Sappington and Grace Stefankiewicz read their award winning essays on “What America Means to Me,” and Pastor Fr. Alan Okon provided the benediction.
Participants were invited back to the American Legion to partake in light refreshments.