Parade leaders deserve honor

Published 10:02 am Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Memorial Day in Lawrence County is as much a spectacle, a full-blown event, as it is just another holiday.

For 141 years, a big reason why is the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade. As the nation’s longest, continuously running parade, the event attracts tens of thousands of visitors to downtown Ironton and really turns the entire weekend into a massive celebration.

Fittingly, the men and women who have led this parade over the years — and for many years to come — have been honored by being memorialized on a commemorative plaque to feature the names of all the grand marshals from 1868 on up through 2068.

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The grand marshal is essentially the public face of the parade each year, a selfless volunteer who has often put in lots of blood, sweat and tears into making sure the event marches on.

Without these individuals leading the way, the parade undoubtedly would have gotten off track at some point over the years.

We applaud the parade committee and this year’s grand marshal, Arthur Pierson, for putting together this gesture to remember those who have come before.

For many Lawrence Countians — and also many who have called this region home but have now moved elsewhere — the parade is among their first and fondest memories, a link to the heritage and tradition of southern Ohio.

We are happy to see the parade marching its way deeper into the history books and also pleased to see those leading the way get recognized for making it happen.