Great weather for a parade
The weather was perfect, the crowd was appreciative and the U.S. Air Force Reserve flyover was right on time.
The Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade 2002 was a success, so says parade Grand Marshal Sue Lunsford.
"It was wonderful," Lunsford said. She was particularly pleased with the sense of patriotism displayed along the parade route.
"The people that showed up to pay tribute to our veterans, it was just wonderful. I was so pleased, the way they stood up and took their hats off and clapped when the veterans would go by. It was wonderful."
Lunsford was also pleased with the way many local businesses, churches and civic groups made extra effort with their floats this year.
And, she praised the parade committee for what may go down as the biggest parade ever.
"I really thank the committee for all their hard work and efforts," Lunsford said. "They really did a wonderful job."
Not surprisingly, many floats remembered the Sept. 11 tragedy, and included New York City’s World Trade Center twin towers as the focal point.
First Baptist Church of Ironton won the Past Grand Marshal’s award for its twin towers-themed float. It also had fire fighters, police officers and a cross imprinted with the words "United We Stand, One in Christ."
The Youth Award went to the Ironton Eagles Auxiliary. Its twin towers had smoke wafting from the top of one of the buildings. It also had fire fighters and a medic.
The Civic Award went to the Church of God Of Prophecy. It depicted a battlefield on one end, with children dressed in camouflage in a tiny army jeeps. On the other end was a globe, and in between was a bridge.
The Grand Marshal’s award went to Liebert Corporation for its float dedicated to Pearl Harbor and World War Two. It had a replica of the USS Arizona Memorial.
Hecla Water’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial float won the Parade Commander’s Award. It depicted a battlefield in Vietnam and the memorial wall in Washington, DC.
The Best Theme Award went to Big Lots for its Home Town Heroes float. It carried the names of local men and women who served in the military.
Lunsford said the enthusiasm local people have for the parade each year speaks volumes about the area’s values.
"We may be a little town, not a large population, but when it comes to showing our love for our country and out veterans, we go all out." Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune