Brookline Boulevard was alive with
the Spirit of America during the Memorial Day Parade - May 28,
On May 28, 2012, the communities of
Brookline, Dormont and Mount Lebanon came together once again for the 79th
annual South Hills Memorial Day Parade. The parade begins on Brookline
Boulevard at the Veteran's Memorial, located at the intersection with Queensboro
Avenue, where the American flag was lowered to half-mast, followed by a
brief ceremony, a five-gun salute and a bugler who played Taps.
The parade line featured several
civic groups, veteran's organizations, a marching band, boy and girl
scouts and various other attractions from the three-neighborhood district.
It stretched from near Castlegate Avenue to Edgebrook Avenue. The parade
march began at 10:30 and the procession started the long journey to Mount
The parade's Opening Ceremony at
the Brookline Veteran's Memorial was a somber moment.
The flag was lowered to half-mast, followed by a five-gun salute and
a bugler blowing Taps.
It was a wonderful day for a ride
or stroll. The temperature approached 90 degrees, but that didn't temper
the enthusiasm of the many participants or the thousands of flag-waving
spectators who lined the parade route.
Following the lead of the police
motorcycle escort, the parade flowed up Brookline Boulevard to Pioneer
Avenue, then proceeded left to West Liberty Avenue. Another left took
the line along West Liberty through the Boroughs of Dormont and Mount
Lebanon. Once at the cemetery, somber closing ceremonies were
I was fortunate for the second
year to participate in the parade, representing the Brookline Breeze 5K, an annual fitness run/walk celebrating it's 31st year
on Saturday, August 11, 2012. We started at Creedmoor Avenue and
made the 2.2 mile walk to the cemetery. The Spirit of America was
alive in the streets, and a sense of pride and patriotism could be
felt from the oldest veterans to the youngest kids. On this day,
everyone was proud to be an American.
A young boy salutes the memorial
wreath and flags outside the Brookline American Legion Hall.
The holiday parade was sponsored
by the South Hills Memorial Day Association, the Dormont Volunteer Fire
Department, American Legion Post 540 in Mt. Lebanon, American Legion
Post 540 in Brookline, AARP Dormont Chapter 3016, Brookline Chamber of
Commerce and VFW Post 694 of Dormont, along with several corporate
The first official observance
of Memorial Day, then called Decoration Day, was held
May 30, 1868 at Arlington National Cemetery. The tradition began in 1865
with the decoration of Civil War soldier's graves in both the North and
South. By the end of the 19th century, local observances were commonplace
in cities and towns across the nation. After World War I, the day was
expanded to include soldier's from all American wars. In 1971, Memorial
Day was declared a national holiday by Act of Congress.
Memorial Day is a chance for all
Americans to honor those fallen heroes that gave the ultimate sacrifice
to preserve freedom, both here at home and abroad. It is also an opportunity
to celebrate the achievements of their comrades-in-arms who returned home
to the country they struggled so hard to protect. Finally, it is a time
to show our support for our sons and daughters serving in the Middle East
and Afghanistan, and those on assignment in regional roles around the
globe. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and may God grant them safe
The South Hills Memorial Day Parade
flows along Brookline Boulevard on a sunny spring day - May 28, 2012.
In April 2011, Brookline historians
did research to compile a list of Brookline servicemen who gave the ultimate
sacrifice in battle from World War I through the present day War on Terror.
All together they found the names of fifty-two casualties from the Community of Brookline. These are
the young men that this Memorial Day Parade is all about. The names of these
soldiers, sailors and airmen, and their lasting memory, are what is being
honored on this solemn day, now and for generations to come.
WORLD WAR I - Raymond P. Cronin,
David P. Digby, Charles Luppe.
WORLD WAR II - William H. Alm,
Roy T. Arensberg, Edward G. Brickley, Lawrence A. Bruni, James J. Capogreca,
Clarence R. Copeland, Thomas J. Cullison, Howard F. Dempsey, Walter F.
Dempsey, Edward R. Diegelman Jr., Frank P. Dornetto, Gerald B. Fagan,
Harold E. Falk, Robert M. Fehring, Richard E. Hynes, Robert E. Jackson,
Paul C. Kestler, Robert C. Ketters, Michael J. Mahoney, Arthur B. Majestic,
Alexander G. Mayberry, John Mazza, Robert F. McCann, Hugh R. McFarland,
Walter F. Meisner, William J. Miller, Edward J. Napier, John D. Nicholson,
John R. O'Day, Andrew D. Orient, Raymond A. Pisiecki, Alfred M. Reeves,
John P. Reitmeyer, Vern M. Ring, Harry C. Shannon, Jack E. Shannon, James
D. Simpson, Harry Spack, Howard F. Vierling, Ralph G. Wagner, Walter L.
Wentz Jr., Harold V. Zeiler.
KOREA - Patrick J. Gallagher,
James W. Gormley, Gerald G. Hilliard, James E. McKenna.
VIETNAM - James R. Bodish,
James G. Collins, James C. Wonn.
Photos from the
79th Annual Memorial Day Parade
The police escort at the head of the
procession (left) and the Boy Scouts of Troop 6 near the back.
Representing the Chamber of Commerce ...
(left) and some of the local Girl Scouts are ready to go.
The Girl Scouts of Troop 51221 (left)
and a C130 plane doing a flyover above Brookline Boulevard.
The World War II soldiers with the
vintage jeeps are always present for Memorial and Veteran's Day.
The honor guard at the head of the
parade (left) and three patriotic youngsters give a salute.
The Mount Lebanon Fire Department (left)
and the Shriners with their cool mini-motor trucks.
A vintage fire engine honoring the
memory of James A. Robinson (left) and a troop of scottish
The Mount Lebanon Blue Devil Band (left)
and the scene at the corner of Pioneer Avenue and the Boulevard.
There were lots of spectators, young and
old, as the long parade procession moved along Pioneer Avenue.
West Liberty Avenue near Hillsdale
Avenue in Dormont (left) and parade-goers in Mount Lebanon.
The Spirit of America was alive
and well on this day. Don't forget the Brookline Breeze 5K Fitness
* Photos provided
by Clint Burton and Doug Brendel *