MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCES
Valley Forge & Montgomery County
Memorial Day honors military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. Veterans Day, on the other hand, celebrates every member of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, whether they are still active or retired, living or deceased.
Memorial Day is also the unofficial kick off of summer 2016, but before you retrieve the shorts and flip flops from storage, consider attending one of the following Memorial Day ceremonies. Better still, bring along family and friends.
VALLEY FORGE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
Valley Forge National Historical Park
1400 North Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia
Valley Forge National Historical Park marks Memorial Day with a service for fallen veterans at Washington Memorial Chapel at 12 p.m. It ends with the sounding of "Taps" over the Grand Parade. At 2 p.m., carillonneur Doug Gefvert will play an hour-long outdoor concert of patriotic selections. In addition, the park's cell phone audio tour (484.396.1018, prompts 101-105) will feature Memorial Day-themed content.
York & Horsham Roads
Hatboro blends its patriotic fervor with a healthy dose of summer fun in its annual Summer Fun Festival. For six days, the Borough of Hatboro invites families to ride the rides, sample the food, enjoy the entertainment and gaze at the fireworks (May 27). But on May 30, the festivities take a short, serious pause in the 7 p.m. tribute to the men and women who have served in uniform.
Saint Mary School
40 Spring Mount Rd
The Saint Mary Home & School Association sponsors its 10th annual Memorial Day remembrance, which has become a compelling teaching moment for the students. After a 9 a.m. Mass, attendees will gather for a flag raising, followed by a wreath presentation and the reading of students' Memorial Day-themed essays. Lunch for veterans follows.
Historic Montgomery Cemetery
One Hartranft Avenue
The grounds of Historic Montgomery Cemetery have, since its establishment in 1847, been the final resting spot for more than 400 veterans, representing conflicts from the War of 1812 to the Korean War. A Memorial Day ceremony honoring them and many of their compelling stories runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge
Medal of Honor Grove
1601 Valley Forge Road, Phoenixville
The American Legion, Latin American Post 840, holds a commemoration at the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge's Puerto Rico acre, recognizing all military personnel, especially those of Latin decent. Once the 1 p.m. program has concluded, visitors can walk the remaining 52 acres, viewing the honorary obelisks that chronicle, state-by-state, every Medal of Honor winner throughout our history.
Main Street/Memorial Park
300 East Main Street
Lansdale's traditional Memorial Day parade steps off in full red-white-and-blue finery at 9 a.m. and makes its way to Memorial Park. There, at 10 a.m., The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 32, The Virgillio Schembri Battavio Post No. 23 and the American Legion William Hare Post No. 206 will hold a ceremony of remembrance and gravitas.
Whitemarsh Memorial Park
1169 Limekiln Pike
Hickory Brass plays a free outdoor concert at Whitemarsh Memorial Park, highlighting patriotic tunes, as well as well-known selections of classical music, popular music and movie themes. The park itself will be decorated with more than 400 full-sized flags, solemnly representing the men and women laid to rest onsite.
921 Youngs Ford Road, Gladwyne
The annual Memorial Day parade and block party are sponsored by the Gladwyne Civic Association and held in the heart of the village (Gladwyne Park), rain or shine. The noon parade features children who decorate their bikes, wagons, strollers and selves to navigate the route. When it wraps up, an honorific ceremony takes place, followed by a block party with food and entertainment. Attendees commonly dress in red-white-and-blue.
Main Street to Waterworks Park, 230 West. 1st Avenue
Under the theme "Their Sacrifice, Our Freedom," Trappe gathers for a festive 10 a.m. parade from Augustus Lutheran Church (Main & Seventh) to Waterworks Park. The remembrance ceremony that follows features buglers, a ceremonial flag raising, a Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of "The Star Spangled Banner" led by the Norristown Chorale, who will also perform a short concert. From there, a full day of music, food, arts and crafts and kid fun unfolds, lasting until 2 p.m.
Lancaster Avenue/ St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church
415 East Athens Avenue, Ardmore
To set the proper tone for a morning of patriotic tributes, the Merion Concert Band will open with a selection of service-themed songs at 9:45 a.m. at Lancaster and Argyle Roads. By 10:30 a.m., parade participants should be ready to march down Lancaster Avenue from the start point at Greenfield Avenue. At 11:15 a.m., attention shifts to St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church for brief remarks, flanked by a color guard and pipers.