The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

November 9, 2009

Tributes to veterans: City parade among many area events

JOHNSTOWN — Wednesday will mark the 13th consecutive year that downtown Johnstown’s Veterans Day Parade will be organized by the Conemaugh Valley Veterans.

Ed Wojnaroski Sr. is the group’s chairman.

The parade will begin at 4 p.m. at Main and Union streets and proceed up Main Street to Clinton Street, where it will disband. There will be a program in Central Park that will begin about 10 minutes after the conclusion of the parade, said Martin J. Kuhar, a member of Conemaugh Valley Veterans and parade coordinator.

The speaker will be Timothy Birtle of Flinton, commander of the Pennsylvania Disabled American Veterans.

The parade and program are paying special tribute this year to disabled veterans.

Jill and Leah Gontkovic, who are sisters, will sing the national anthem and “God Bless America” at the park program. Members of Conemaugh Valley Detachment of the Marine Corps League will raise and lower the flag and play taps. Kuhar will be master of ceremonies.

Tom Caulfield of Conemaugh Valley Veterans said a Cambria County Transit Authority bus will be available to provide transportation for disabled veterans wanting to ride in the parade. Those wanting to ride the bus should go to American Legion Post 294 at 114 Main St. prior to the start of the parade, Caulfield said. Disabled veterans also are invited to walk in the parade.

The parade lineup includes 10 school bands, the most since Conemaugh Valley Veterans began sponsoring the parade, Wojnaroski said.

The bands are from Bishop McCort, Blacklick Valley, Conemaugh Township, Conemaugh Valley, Ferndale, Forest Hills, Greater Johnstown High School, Greater Johnstown Middle School, Richland and Westmont Hilltop.

The parade also will feature military units and vehicles, floats and veterans organizations.

There will be a flyover at 4:10 p.m. by the 1/104th Aviation, Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

Harry Plows, an Army veteran of World War II, is the parade’s permanent honorary marshal.

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