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Above: Cadet Evan Reed of the McKeesport Area High School Junior Air Force ROTC program places an American flag at the city's War Memorial on Lysle Boulevard during Memorial Day observances Monday. (Tube City Almanac photo)
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More than 100 people gathered Monday morning at the city's War Memorial on Lysle Boulevard to commemorate the lives of those from the Mon-Yough area who died in service to their country.
Participants included area veterans' organizations, the recently restarted Junior Air Force ROTC program at McKeesport Area High School, members of the high school band and choir, and current and retired elected officials.
Memorial Day is not just the "unofficial start of summer," McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko said. "It's very sad that all too often we forget what the true meaning of Memorial Day is," he said. "All of you who are here --- you don't forget. Let's make sure we remind others as well."
Above: A color guard comprised of Cadet Dylan Vaniel and members of the McKeesport police and fire departments present the American and Pennsylvania flags. (Tube City Almanac photo)
Cadet Staff Sgt. Kyle Nelson, cadet corps commander of the McKeesport Area High School Junior Air Force ROTC, served as the keynote speaker for Monday's events. He paid tribute not just to those members of the armed forces who died while in service to the United States, but to the living veterans present.
"Days like this one ... are something special, set aside to remember their service and their sacrifices," Nelson said. "They left an imprint on this American nation by the sacrifices and contributions they have made."
Boniface Igba, ministerial director of McKeesport-based Auberle, offered the benediction and said those contributions should serve as a model for all Americans, regardless of their profession or vocation.
"Let us all take up that responsibility very seriously so that we can continue to contribute to the benefit of humanity," he said.
Above: Cadet Natalie Washowich of McKeesport Area High School Junior Air Force ROTC places a wreath at the McKeesport War Memorial on Monday morning. (Tube City Almanac photo)
Participants in Monday's ceremonies also included members of the city's police and fire departments; the rifle squad from American Legion Post 447 from Port Vue and the Liberty Borough Veterans' Association; members of American Legion Post 666 and Post 666 Auxiliary and AMVETS Post 8; Allegheny County Councilman Bob Macey; Austin Davis, executive assistant to Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald; former Allegheny County Commissioner Larry Dunn; and city Controller Tom Maglicco, who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves.
Originally published May 29, 2017.