West Side Memorial Day Parade
The annual West Side Memorial Day Parade steps off at 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 27, at Market Street and Wyoming Avenue, Kingston. Parade route follows Wyoming Avenue to the Forty Fort Cemetery, where a program will be held. Grand marshal for this year’s parade is Matthew F. Ford. He was born in Luzerne, moved to Courtdale in 1946, attended Luzerne High School in 1954, and joined the Air Force in August 1956. He served in Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Laos and Thailand in the following units: Pacific Air Command, Military Airlift Command, Air Defense Command, Strategic Air Command, 606 Air Commando Squadron and Tactical Air Command. He served his country in the Air Force from 1956-1976, and in August 1976, he retired at the rank of technical sergeant. He is a member of the Kingston American Legion. The parade lineup begins at 10 a.m. Parade steps off at 10:30. Line of march Section A — Market and Maple Streets: Kingston/Forty Fort Police, Marine Corps Color Guard, Grand Marshal Matt Ford, Retired Air Force, Vietnam veteran; WVW Cheerleaders, WVW Marching Band, Don Williams, Fife and Drum, VA Hospital Veterans Bus (wheelchairs VFW Post 283); Black Diamond American Legion Post 395 commander; Anthracite VFW Post 283 commander; Black Diamond American Legion Post 395 veterans’ float, Black Diamond American Legion Post 395 Auxiliary, Black Diamond Squadron 395 Sons of The American Legion, Black Diamond American Legion Post 395 American Legion Riders, Kingston VFW Post 283 Ladies Auxiliary, DAV Chapter 102, Korean War Veterans, Daughters of the American Revolution, Lug Nutz Car Club, NEPR Car Club, Taxpayer Advocacy Panel. Section B — Public officials, North Sprague Avenue: Congressman Matt Cartwright, Luzerne County Sheriff’s Department, Kingston Firemen’s Marching Unit, State Rep. Aaron Kaufer, Kingston mayor, Kingston Council, Forty Fort mayor, Forty Fort Council, Swoyersville mayor, Edwardsville mayor, Plymouth mayor, Luzerne County Council, Kingston Shade Tree Commission. Section C — United Penn Plaza: Irem Shriners, Art N Vino, Wyoming County Weapons (Military Style Jeep), Blue Chip Farms, Salvation Army Canteen Truck, Boy Scouts of America Troop 154, Boy Scouts of America Cub Scout Pack 154. Section D — Civic organizations, Market Street and Sprague Avenue: Girl Scouts of America, Troops 32208 and 30228; Girl Scouts, “The Frontier Girls”; Kingston/Forty Fort Baseball, Kingston Huskies, Ed-Lark Hurricanes. Section E — Emergency personnel and vehicles, Main and Market Streets: Wyoming Valley Red Cross responders, Tom Betz and Son antique fire truck, Kingston/Forty Fort Fire Departments, Edwardsville Fire Department, all other vehicles/equipment/participants in order in which they arrive Program at Forty Fort Cemetery Entrance, fife and drum; Wreath presentation, Legion and VFW commanders; Remarks, Bernie Shinko; National anthem, Wyoming Valley West Band; Grand marshal, Matthew F. Ford; Master of ceremonies, Bernie Shinko; Invocation, Gary Isaac; Gettysburg Address, Don Williams; Special guest, Congressman Matt Cartwright; Guest speaker, Tony Brooks, local historian; Raising of The Colors: Michael A. Ayers, Kingston American Legion Post 395 commander; Terry Ackor, Anthracite VFW Post 283 commander; Pledge of allegiance, led by Bernie Shinko; 21 gun salute, VFW Firing Squad; Taps, WVW bugler; Closing remarks and benediction, Bernie Shinko.