By Heather Abraham

LAWRENCEVILLE (KDKA) – Today, the nation is honoring the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country.

Lawrenceville is home to one of the oldest Memorial Day parades in the country and plenty of people showed up for this year’s event.

Monday marked the 104th year that St. Mary’s and Allegheny Cemetery have put on the Memorial Day Parade.

They marched in honor of the veterans, in celebration of our freedom and in dedication to those who lost their lives for our country.

“We just [want to] keep the memory of what this day is about alive,” Parade President Steven Stefanik said.

Hal Bauer, a Korean War veteran said he was one of the lucky ones and today, he can bring back some emotional memories.

“It’s remembering the men that didn’t come back and their service and all the men and women in service today. It’s a pretty solemn occasion,” Bauer said.

There were also members of the Wounded Warrior Project and their families in the parade.

“It’s truly an honor to be here and represent them and remember them and look back at everything they’ve done for us and our families,” Mike Heller said.

While many enjoyed the festivities, today is also a day to reflect.

Before the parade began, many took a few moments to pray during a ceremony at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

The effort put into remembering the troops and veterans doesn’t go unnoticed.

“Well, I get tears in my eyes,” Pete Fantone said. “Seeing all these people coming in and doing things for us.”

“We’ve had guys fight for this country that I think a lot of people have forgotten about,” Greg Beatty said.

More than 53 groups and organizations participated in this year’s parade, with spectators numbering in the thousands.


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