The Harding Township Civic Association will again be sponsoring the Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony. The parade and ceremony honor the sacrifices made by our service men and women who gave their lives for our country. In addition, Harding honors our local servicemen and women who have served in the military. During the ceremony veterans will be invited to stand and identify themselves, the branch and unit in which they served and their dates of service.
Larry Weppler, one of the event organizers, said that after the ceremony a Vietnam veteran told him that a child came up to him and “thanked him for his service.” This veteran said during the Vietnam war and afterwards, people didn’t want to talk about Vietnam let alone acknowledge the service of our veterans. For him it was heartwarming to have someone, such as this child, thank him for his service. This ceremony is Harding’s way to say Thank You to our veterans. If you see a veteran let hm or her know you appreciate what they do.
The parade will feature fire trucks, antique cars, a marching band, horses and a dog to commemorate those service animals lost in war, many of the town’s civic organizations and of course our children with their decorated bikes.
This year’s Memorial Day Ceremony will feature a “fly over” by a Black Hawk helicopter from the Army National Guard’s 1-150th Assault Helicopter Battalion based out of Lakehurst NJ flown by Capt. Matt Lombardo based out of Lakehurst New Jersey. Captain Lombardo is a recent resident of Harding.
All civic organizations and groups are invited to participate in the Parade. The Harding Township Civic Association encourages marchers to wear red, white and blue in honor of our veterans. Those driving their cars are encouraged to decorate their vehicles with red, white and blue streamers.
Children are encouraged to decorate their bikes, scooters and wagons with red, white and blue streamers and other decorations. There will be a prize for the best decoration for children up to 7 years old and for those 7 years old and older.
Those intending to participate in the parade should assemble in the parking lot at the Harding Township School no later than 9:15 AM on Monday, May 30th. Our honored guests, Harding’s veterans, will again ride in a hay wagon symbolizing our agrarian background. All veterans planning on riding in the parade should arrive at the Harding School no later than 9:15 AM.
After the parade, the First Aid Squad and Auxiliary will be serving hot dogs and chips and of course ice cream at the Firehouse. The Tunis Ellick’s house will be having an open house so that residents can learn mor about the history of Harding. After that head back to Harding School where Capt. Lombardo will have landed the Black Hawk helicopter featured in the fly over during the ceremony.
Row 1 (left to right) James Savage, Michael Bernstein, Walter Galante, Walter Ness, Don Miller, John Downs
Row 2 John Huston, Frank Hock (not visible behind Michael Bernstein), Mike Meade, Doug Wild, Edward Dwyer, Charles Burgess (behind Don Miller)
Row 3 Irv Zander, Hal Scaff, Hess Allocco, Richard Olson, George Richvalsky
(not pictured Bill Dudley)
Standing in background Officer Alex Nastase