The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

November 12, 2012

VIDEO | Ailing founder misses first Veterans Day parade

JOHNSTOWN — The Johnstown Veterans Day parade strolled down Main Street on Monday night – a comfortable sight for local servicemen and their families. The procession was punctuated the rattling of high school marching band snare drums and honorable salutes between servicemen young and old – just as in each year past.

One thing that was missing from this year’s march was the parade’s honorary grand marshal, Harry Plows, the 91-year-old World War II veteran who started it all.

“Unfortunately, my father is ill and unable to be here,” said Plows’ daughter, Mary Lehman. “So we wanted to come to the parade in his honor.

“I know his heart is with us today, even though he's in the hospital,” she said.

It was Plows’ civil display that got this 16-year Johnstown tradition rolling. Johnstown’s lack of a formal Veterans Day parade upset Plows and so for five years, he alone marched on Main Street carrying a small American flag.

“He had hoped that he would be arrested and that would cause some attention that would lead to starting a parade,” Lehman said.

Instead, the Conemaugh Valley Veterans and their president, Ed Wojnaroski, got behind Plows and formed the parade committee. The veterans organization remains the chief sponsor of the parade, which drew hundreds of Johnstowners – waving hundreds more American flags – to Central Park.

“I think it’s great,” Lehman said about the gathered crowd.

“I’m very proud of what my dad started, I’m very proud of all the people of Johnstown that come together at this time to honor the veterans.”

And a better time couldn’t have been picked as the night’s high-60s Indian summer temperature was, when coupled with the perpetual cool breeze, “divinely inspired,” as put by USMC Col. Ed Wojnaroski Jr.

He stressed that the communities our veterans call home do the armed forces an important service.

“These men and women not only come back to the community, but it’s (the community from which they come) that we have Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen for life,” he said.

Lehman said she’s confident her father will be back on his feet soon.

“I’m sure he’ll be here next year,” she said.

And those feet will be ready to march, inspiring new generations of servicemen and women who Wojnaroski Jr. hopes can continue to uphold American ideals when others can no longer.

“They need new recruits in order to preserve the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that we started over 200 years ago,” he said.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • WilliamsA ‘I thought I was going to die’

    Hornerstown resident Robert “Bobby” Williams said he endured two hours of surgery, suffered a heart attack and fears he may never again be able to fully use his right arm.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • JFD traing Firefighters practice river rescues

    Johnstown Fire Department members lift a “victim” out of the rescue basket during training Wednesday along the Stonycreek River flood-control wall

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    Here are the names of the 10 entrants that were chosen today-April 22, 2014.  If you see your name, call the Circulation Department at 814-532-5000 (#1) or 1-866-307-0905 to verify your information.

    April 22, 2014

  • sewer meeting map Sewer work will tie up traffic

    Brace yourselves.
    This summer’s sewer main replacement project will delay traffic with detours, closed streets and lane restrictions through one of Johnstown’s notoriously snarled neighborhoods.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • USS Somerset USS Somerset arrives at San Diego homeport

    The USS Somerset is home.
    The amphibious transport dock ship named in honor of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 arrived at its new homeport of Naval Base San Diego on Monday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jablonski, Stephen Charges filed in courthouse bomb threat

    A Johnstown man was charged by Ebensburg Borough police Wednesday with threatening to blow up the Cambria County Courthouse, a call he admitted to Ebensburg police he made Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vizza, Peter Vizza voted deputy mayor

    The top vote-getter in last year’s Johnstown City Council election is now also the city’s deputy mayor.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conemaugh Township rezoning opens business possibilities

    A portion of South Main Street in Davidsville will be rezoned to give greater allowances to the businesses along the road.

    April 23, 2014

  • Sculptor’s work to be raffled off

    The work of a local sculptor will be raffled off during the Art in Bloom show.

    April 23, 2014

  • Katie and Gary Lamer Birthday remembrance bash provides aid to region

    It’s been four years since Johnstown resident Gary Lamer died of complications from pneumonia, but his memory lives on through an annual party that gives back in a big way.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads