CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Sandyvale Memorial Gardens will hold its annual free Memorial Day Ceremony Monday to honor veterans of all conflicts with a special pinning ceremony, a parade and more.

The annual Memorial Day Ceremony takes place Monday, May 30, beginning at 10 a.m. at 80 Hickory Street in the Hornerstown neighborhood of Johnstown. There will be a special pinning ceremony for all attending veterans, and they will be commemorating with special symbolism the observance of the 75th anniversary of the Air Force and special recognition of K9 veterans, K9 police and service dogs who serve wounded veterans.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will also be an antique and classic car and motorcycle cruise, drawings, food vendors, a bounce house, children’s crafts and a plant sale in the greenhouse.

The Marine Corps League Honor Guard will lead a parade into the site with music by bagpiper Neil Brett. There will be special wreath presentations and musical selections sung by Chloe Whorl. Pastor Rev. Nancy Threadgill of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church will lead the Invocation and Benediction. During the ceremony, President Diana Kabo will present the annual “Mary Claire Andreassi Friends of Sandyvale Award” to William Horner, former president of Sandyvale since 2006.

Keynote speakers at the ceremony will be retired Air Force Colonel Karen Esaias, introduced by Marty Kuhar, Retired Army Lt. Col. and PA State Chairman for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve – Department of Defense Organization.  Also participating will be the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and the Mary Campbell Ladies Auxiliary #16 in period dress, and The 54th PVI Re-enactment Group.

The event is sponsored by the Tax Lady LLC, 1st Summit Bank, GapVax/GAP Pollution & Environmental Control, Inc., JWF Industries, Liberty Wire, RE/MAX Team, Realtors, Concurrent Technologies Corporation, Lee Initiatives, American Legion Post 849, and through donations from Slovenian Savings & Loan, Moxham GBU District #146, Polish National Alliance, CBM Business Machines and Walmart.  

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It’s reported that Sandyvale has historically been a community gathering place where citizens have come together to honor their veterans since the Revolutionary War.  In the 1800s, it is where city residents gathered to not only commemorate Decoration Day but to socialize, picnic and recreate. The community is again finding an opportunity for remembrance, relaxation and enjoyment in the restored green space.