Lawrenceville is a community known for preserving its history and traditions. One of those beloved traditions is the annual Memorial Day Parade, organized by the all-volunteer Lawrenceville Memorial Day Parade Association. The 2017 parade, now in its 109th year and one of the longest running Memorial Day parades in the nation, takes place May 29 at 10am, beginning at 40th and Butler Streets, and ending at Allegheny Cemetery. It is a day to honor all deceased veterans.
Hundreds of people will line Butler Street to watch the parade. More than 60 groups will participate this year, including military color guard, veterans organizations, military vehicles, Pittsburgh Police, Fire and Paramedics, Shriner Motor Corps, Clowns, Boy Scouts, Morningside and 9th Ward Little League organizations, sports mascots and multiple marching bands, including Barack Obama Academy of International Studies, Westinghouse House School, the Pittsburgh Firefighters Memorial Pipe Band, the Post Office Band and the Syria Highlanders Pipe and Drum Band. The parade lasts approximately one hour.
Immediately following the parade will be a ceremony in Allegheny Cemetery at the Soldiers Memorial. If you’ve never attended the ceremony, it is an experience you will never forget. Parade-goers walk along a scenic winding road, passing graves adorned with small American flags. Thousands of flags fluttering in the breeze, all lovingly placed by local volunteers. It is a beautiful sight. The service features military tributes, speakers, musical selections, a wreath laying, gun salute and a dove release.
Parade organizer and First Sergeant Jim McGinley wants to remember families who lost loved ones in the wars. “One of the things I think is forgotten is the mothers of these soldiers, Marines, sailors that are forgotten and have to carry the burden for 10, 20 years or longer,” McGinley said. The parade is dedicated to the men and women who served this country and paid the ultimate price.
The parade originated when local veterans organizations (VFWs) decided to work together to produce a parade to commemorate fallen comrades. Today the parade is a community effort that engages city officials, police, fire, paramedics, local neighbors and businesses and former military personnel who deployed and came back home wanting to be involved. The parade is not funded by the city or state, but relies on donations from the local community to keep it running. And the people of Lawrenceville are generous, contributing year after year and coming out in large numbers to support the parade.
The Lawrenceville Memorial Day Parade Association is dedicated to ensuring that there will always be a Memorial Day Parade marching through Lawrenceville.
For more information on the parade, contact Jim McGinley at 412-559-8743 or email@example.com