The Annual Chicora Memorial Day Parade was held this past Memorial Day, May 30, 2022. The annual parade and ceremonies are sponsored by the Chicora Borough, Dierken Ritzert American Legion Post 642, the Chicora Independent Hose Company, and the Chicora Moose Lodge 962. This year’s theme was, “You Will Never Be Forgotten”.
This year’s parade Marshall was Gary Fennell. There were multiple floats, a large number of antique cars and tractors, the Zem Zem Shriners with their carts, Clydesdale horses, and bagpiper, Steve McKinney adding to the atmosphere of the day.
The ceremony at the honor roll started with the raising of the National Colors by Boy Scout Troop 217, followed by the National Anthem sung by Chloe Fritch and the invocation by Rev. Jim Lewis.
The presentation of the Memorial Wreath was placed on the Honor Roll by Ron Huff along with the Honor Guard. Huff also read the names of the deceased Veterans from this past year. The bell ringer was Charles Hetrick.
This year there was a special presentation by the McNallen family. A new bell was unveiled by Gary Fennell along with Mike McCarren and Post 642 Commander, Ray Boyle. (See related story).
This year’s guest speaker was John Cyprian, retired Director of the Butler County Veterans’ Affairs. John is an Army Sergeant veteran who served during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He retired from the U.S. Army Reserves in 1998.
Layla Colsey and Mason Bell,
American Legion Award winners.
This year’s high school American Legion Award winners were Mason Bell and Layla. Mason is the son of Adam and Jessica Bell of Chicora and Layla is the daughter of Jason McCandless and Julie Colsey of Karns City. Both attend Karns City High School. (See photo left).
This year Chicora’s Legionnaire of the year is Mike McNallen, who was unable to attend, and the citation was received by Mike’s sister, Melissa McNallen for him.
Rev. Jim Lewis
Special recognition was given to Rev. Jim Lewis, pastor of the Chicora and Karns City United Methodist Church. After serving nine years as a pastor, Rev. Lewis announced his retirement. He decided to retire to spend more time with his wife, four adult children, and four grandchildren. Rev. Lewis will remain active by working with the organization “Hearts for Haiti”. The “Hearts for Haiti” organization collects anything metal. Refrigerators, washers, dryers, hot water tanks, pots & pans. (No electronics). Rev. Lewis is a veteran who served in the US Navy. He served mostly on the U.S.S. Bryce Canyon AD36.
Special thanks is extended to the Karns City High School Band for their music and participation in the parade.
Robert Ripper and David Fleeger served as co-Master of Ceremonies for the day.