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105th annual West Side Veterans Memorial Day Parade details announced

Times Leader - 5/15/2024

May 15--KINGSTON -- The 105th annual West Side Veterans Memorial Day Parade will step off at 10:30 a.m. sharp on Memorial Day, May 27, honoring America's fallen heroes.

Commander Gary Isaac from the Black Diamond American Legion Post 395 and Commander Chuck Pavlick from the Anthracite VFW Post 283 -- both in Kingston -- are co-Chairs of the parade.

The parade will begin at Kingston Corners and proceed to the Forty Fort Cemetery, where the annual program will be held honoring all fallen veterans of all wars.

As always, a large crowd is expected to line the parade route and attend the ceremony at the Forty Fort Cemetery.

Grand marshal

Rich Pries, past commander of the Black Diamond American Legion Post 395 in Kingston, who has helped coordinate many of the past parades, has been selected as this year's grand marshal.

Pries proudly served in the United States Marine Corps from 1968 through 1971.

He also served as commander of the Black Diamond American Legion Post 395 in Kingston for five tours -- longer than any commander since the post was chartered in 1919.

Commander Pries was also the person who started the "Homeless Veteran Fund" at the Kingston American Legion -- now called the "Veteran Assistance Fund."

Pries accomplished getting a number of homeless vets out from under bridges and wooded areas back into main stream society. He said gaining their trust wasn't always the easiest thing to accomplish, but his perseverance proved worthy of his effort.

Pries and his wife of 51 years, Diane, have four sons -- Erik, Corey, Kris and Nick; daughters-in-law, Berdina (Erik), Joanie (Corey) and Heather, (Kris); two grandchildren, Megan and Hunter Pries.

Featured speaker

Anthony Dicton will be the featured speaker at the Forty Fort Cemetery service.

Dicton, of Kingston, is married to Rebecca Dicton and they have a son Asher, 11; and a daughter Eden, 9.

Dicton has worked as safety, security and career coordinator; transportation director; and principal at Wyoming Valley West School District, where he was a teacher since 2002.

Dicton served on Kingston Council from 2013-2020.

He served as District Department Chair of Social Studies 2010-2020; varsity track coach, 2001-2017; varsity cross country coach, 2011-2017.

Dicton enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corps in 2004; completed Field Artillery School in 2006; awarded Meritorious Mast 2006, 2007; served in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006-2007; promoted to Corporal 2008; Certificate of Commendation, 2009 and 2010; promoted to Sergeant 2010; honorably discharged in August 2012.

Dicton is a graduate of Wyoming Valley West, 1994; received a B.S. degree in Secondary Education from Penn State University, 1999; a Master of Education, California University of Pennsylvania 2018; and he earned a Superintendent Letter of Eligibility in 2023.

Parade lineup

--SECTION A -- Market and Maple Streets

Kingston/Forty Fort Police

Marine Corps Color Guard

Grand Marshall:

WVW Cheerleaders

WVW Marching Band

Black Diamond American Legion Post 395 Commander

Black Diamond American Legion Post 395 Veteran's Float

Black Diamond American Legion Post 395 Auxiliary

Black Diamond Squadron 395 Sons of The American Legion

Black Diamond American Legion Post 395 American Legion Riders

VFW POST 283 COMMANDER

VFW POST 283 AUXILIARY

Detachment Commander SAL Unit 644

Ladies Auxiliary Unit 644

DAV Chapter 102

Air Force Wing

Korean War Vets

Daughters of The American Revolution

Lug Nutz Car Club

National Night Out K-9 Unit

NEPR Car Club

All Riders Groups

Taxpayer Advocacy Panel

--SECTION B -- Public Officials

North Sprague Avenue

Luzerne County Sheriff's Department

Kingston Fireman's Marching Unit

State Representative Aaron Kaufer

Kingston Mayor

Kingston Council

Forty Fort Mayor

Forty Fort Council

Swoyersville Mayor

Edwardsville Mayor

Plymouth Mayor

Swoyersville Kiwanis

Luzerne County Council

Kingston Shade Tree Commission

Kingston Historical Society

--SECTION C -- United Penn Plaza

Masons

Irem Shriners

Cumulus Radio Group

Art N Vino?

Choice One Community Credit Union

Wyoming County Weapons (Military Style Jeep)

Blue Chip Farms

Salvation Army Canteen Truck

Boy Scouts of America Troop 154

Boy Scouts of America Cub Scout Pack 154

Boy Scouts of America Troop 143

Wyoming Valley Elks Lodge #109

--SECTION D -- (Civic Organizations)

Market Street and Sprague Avenue

Girl Scouts of America Troops: 32208 and 30228

Girl Scouts "The Frontier Girls"

Kingston/Forty Fort Baseball

Kingston Huskies

Ed-Lark Hurricanes

--SECTION E -- Emergency Personnel And Vehicles

Main and Market

Wyoming Valley Red Cross Responders

Tom Betz and Son Antique Fire Truck

Kingston/Forty Fort Fire Departments

Edwardsville Fire Department

Additional Fire Departments

All other vehicles/equipment/participants in order in which they arrive

Anyone not listed in the parade line up can still participate by showing up at Kingston Corners by 10 a.m. See any parade coordinator.

Reach Bill O'Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

___

(c)2024 The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)

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