138th Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade rolls on

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

The Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade has been around longer than the bridge many people cross to see it and longer than the history of many organizations taking part in it. The tradition continued Monday.

The streets along the parade route were lined with chairs and spectators beginning at 7:30 a.m., more than two hours before the procession began.


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Some entries were stark and dramatized the seriousness of military service. The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 51 float had empty black chairs representing those soldiers who didn’t come home from service. It featured the black Prisoner of War/ Missing in Action flag.

The entry honoring World War II veteran Albert King Sr. had a large image of the war hero etched on plexiglass and the dates 1911-2005.

The Lawrence County Genealogical Society bore the names of soldiers who fought in the war of 1812.

Alberta Dillon of Powellsville, who came with her husband, Arthur, said she “just likes to see all the veterans.” Arthur Dillon and his three brothers all served in World War II.

There were lighter moments as well. There were not one, but two Barney the purple dinosaurs as well as Smokey the Bear, compliments of the Wayne National Forest, and Briggsy, the mascot of the Briggs-Lawrence County Public Library.

And there was music, lots of it. Sugar Creek Christian Academy’s float included musicians, as did the Harmonica Club, a new entry this year, and All- Med medical service, which featured a four-piece bluegrass band.

The Chesapeake Police Cruiser played “Bad Boys” and the “Andy Griffith Show” theme song from its loud speaker.

The El Hasa Shiners from Ashland, Ky., came with an oriental band and a hip-shaking scimitar carrier — old favorites that sent grown women into the street to have their photographs made with and hug the satin-clad men.

At more than two hours long, the parade offered a little something for everyone.

Merle Ackerson of Coal Grove said she didn’t really have a favorite part to the parade. “I just like all of it,” she said.

Winning floats

Central Christian Church won the civic award for its float. It featured the words “138 years of caring, through all wars, through the depression and through the 1937 flood … and we still care today.” Photographs of the 1937 flood rotated on a rectangular stand.”

Ginger Brown, who attends Central Christian, gave credit to fellow congregation member Saralyn Lutz for the design and said the idea was to show the history of both the church and the parade as well as the place of both in the community.

“The church and the parade are exactly the same age,” Brown said. “We wanted to represent things from the direct community as well as show the church’s involvement.”

Lorain Street Gospel Church won the youth float award that featured a large cross, a casket and photographs of veterans.

Apostlic Gospel Church won the parade commander award. A paid of large hands encircled a globe surrounded by children in costumes of different nations. The song “He’s got the whole world in his hands” was played in accompaniment.

“We worked hard on it,” church member Diana White said. “We found out what the theme was and tried to tie in the theme with the military and our church.”

The AmVets 5293 won the past grand marshal award with its float that featured veterans in full dress uniform and flags of the nation’s military branches.

Christ Episcopal Church won the grand marshal’s award. A large red heart bore the words “We care about veterans.” There were also photographs of veterans on the float.

Mamre Baptist Church won the best theme award. Its float featured puppets, music and the Bible verse 1 Pete 5:7 “Casting all your cares upon Him, for He careth for you.”

The Ironton Lion’s Club Veterans Memorial 5K Road Race Committee this year donated $150 to the recipient of the best theme award, $350 to the grand marshal’s award recipient and

$250 to the parade commander award.