Sunday, July 27, 2014

Veterans remembered on their day

February 19. 2013 5:52PM
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As if he were still under orders, George Parrick, 87, stood at attention holding the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 477 flag during the Veterans Day ceremony last Sunday.

Parrick served in the Navy during World War II and re-enlisted to serve during the Korean conflict.

He served on a repair ship in the Pacific Ocean during World War II as a specialist.

His father also served with the Navy, called to arms in the draft. Three of his nine siblings served in the armed forces as well.

I had it hard, Parrick said with a chuckle. I put in two years in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Parrick said he was part of damage control. His boat moved about the fleet, performing any imaginable type of repair.

Parrick was greeted warmly at the ceremony. Everyone seemed to know him as a proud veteran, worthy of at least a day's worth of recognition.

The Pittston tradition, which City Councilman Mike Lombardo said dates back to around World War II, brought a crowd of about 30 people to the sidewalks in front of City Hall. Parrick, a Pittston native, said hundreds used to fill the streets on Veterans Day, despite rain or snow.

The sun shined warmly and a light breeze moved up Broad Street as the ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer.

City Mayor Jason Klush seemed disappointed that more people did not come out to show their appreciation.

It's a shame things like this get pushed to the side, Klush said. These guys gave it all. We owe them everything.

The 11 o'clock ceremony was competing with church services. Klush agreed that most of their usual attendees were probably at Mass.

Parrick said he went to Mass that morning, but left early to be sure he could fulfill his duties.

He said other churches and veterans centers were offering a free hot lunch for veterans. He suggested that was where the crowds had gone instead.

City Councilman Danny Argo led the small crowd of city officials, public service employees, a handful of veterans with their families and other observers in the National Anthem.

Post 477 members fired ceremonial blanks into the air following a bugle call, played on an electronic horn.

Post 477 Commander Tom Delaney said he hoped to see the same faces again next year.

Parrick, a local AMVETS honor guard, said he knew of 108 veterans' funerals held this year where his post was represented.

In more ways than one, Parrick is one of the few left from his era.

The sun shined warmly and a light breeze moved up Broad Street as the ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer.


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