DALLAS — This holiday plays an arching role over all holidays celebrations, said state Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Harveys Lake, during the Dallas Memorial Day Parade on Monday morning.
Baker was one of two government dignitaries who spoke in the center of Dallas at the Veterans War Memorial as the parade paused for a moment of remembrance for those who have served and are serving in the military.
She told the hundreds of parade attendees that the military personnel of the past, present and future help sustain and preserve the liberties enjoyed by all.
“We owe a debt to them and their families that cannot be repaid in dollars and cents,” Baker said.
Taking a quote from President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address, U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, said military personnel risk their lives because, “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
Standing on the sidewalk watching the speakers was World War II veteran Richard Kitchen and his wife, Gladys, of Dallas. Kitchen served in the 740th Tank Battalion in Germany.
He said the Memorial Day parade made him feel honored with a mix of many other feelings.
“Our government is so far removed from the government of the past,” Kitchen said.
Hundreds lined the parade route, which started at Daddow-Isaacs American Legion Post 672, Dallas, down Memorial Highway to the center of Dallas, and then proceeded to the Wardan Cemetery, where a gun salute ended the event.
The parade was an impressive demonstration of pride as Girl Scout Troops, 30219 and 30150; Boy Scout Troops, 155, 281, 146, all were carrying American Flags and banners. Keeping a beat, the Dallas High School Band played while the Harveys Lake Water Rescue, Back Mountain Fire and Rescue, fire companies from Dallas, Shavertown, Trucksville and Lehman brought up the end of the parade.
Entering the Wardan Cemetery, Iris Smith and her son Mark, 4, of Dallas, watched. Smith said her older son, Clint, 10, marched with Cub Scout Pack 281.
“It is really important to me,” she said. “My grandfather served in the military.”
Mark said he plans to join his brother and march in the parade some day.
But, until then, he will be content to enjoy watching the motorcycles in the parade.