Memorial Day Parade Committee to send invite to POW Jessica Lynch

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 9, 2003

She is a bona fide hero of the war - Jessica Lynch, the young Army supply clerk who was a prisoner of war and was rescued from the hands of the enemy.

While she is not a hometown girl, she is a neighbor-of-sorts, hailing from Wirt County, W.Va.

Members of the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade Committee would like to invite Lynch to be in this year's parade.

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"With the war going on, a hero has emerged," said Ironton Mayor Bob Cleary. "What are the chances of getting her (to be in the parade)? I think that would be an honor for us and an opportunity for her if she would consider it."

"It doesn't hurt to ask," Parade Grand Marshal Marsha Kerns said.

"If we can't get her to come this year, perhaps she might come next year," Parade Commander Frank McCown said.

Letters will be sent to both her home in Palestine, W.Va., and to Landstuhl Hospital in Germany, where Lynch is recuperating, inviting her to take part in this year's event.

Meanwhile, Cleary said Monday night that the parade committee's annual Navy Night service can take place at the Center Street boat landing as it usually does. The mayor had suggested last month that the service take place elsewhere, since work on the flood wall in that area would hinder access to the riverfront in that area.

But Cleary said work at the Center Street landing is being delayed because Norfolk and Southern Railroad has asked the city to build a retaining wall to shore up its tracks in that area, as a structural precaution during the flood wall work. This retaining wall must be built prior to the start of the flood wall project and will push back the timetable for the project past the end of May.

The Navy Night service is part of the committee's nearly week-long activities leading up to the parade. It is meant to honor veterans of the sea-going services.