Lawrence Township’s annual Memorial Day parade is set to kick off at 10 a.m. on May 25, honoring the memories of American servicemen and servicewomen who gave their lives in battle.
Frank Haggerty, who enlisted in the U.S. Air Force after graduating from Lawrence High School in 1968, has been tapped to be the grand marshal for the parade.
Haggerty was discharged from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of sergeant in 1972. He was stationed in Vietnam, and in Texas, Mississippi, New Hampshire and Virginia during his military service.
Meanwhile, before the parade, Lawrence Township military veterans have been invited to a breakfast in their honor at Lawrence High School at 8:30 a.m., said Nancy Bergen, the superintendent of recreation.
“We want to have an opportunity to recognize the veterans for what they have done. The breakfast is another way to recognize them,” Bergen said.
The parade will step off from the parking lot at Lawrence High School. The parade route takes marchers onto Princeton Pike and then onto Darrah Lane, Birchwood Knoll and Berwyn Place, where it ends in Veterans Park.
At the park, the Memorial Day essay contest winners will be announced. Mayor Christopher Bobbitt will offer remarks, and then Haggerty will deliver the keynote address. There will be a wreath laying at the memorial and music by the Lawrence Community Band.
Among the groups taking part in the Memorial Day parade are the Shamrock and Thistle Pipe and Drum Band from Ocean County, and the Washington Memorial Pipe Band from Pennsylvania.
The Lawrence High School Red Scare marching band and the Princeton University Band will take part, too.
Boy Scouts of America Troop 28 and Cub Scout Pack 28, along with the Lawrence Ewing Trenton Girl Scouts, have signed up to march in the parade.
The Lawrence Historical Society, the Ben Franklin Swim Club, the Rider University Veterans Association and members of the New Jersey National Guard will march, too.
Several schools, including the Ben Franklin, Slackwood and Lawrenceville elementary schools and St. Ann’s School, are going to take part in the parade.
Other assorted marchers include children from Lawrence Lacross and Lawrence Little League, the Slackwood Presbyterian Church and, of course, members of American Legion Post 414 and the 112th Field Artillery Association.
The Memorial Day parade is co-sponsored by Lawrence Township, American Legion Post 414, the 112th Field Artillery Association and the Lawrence Township Patriotic Committee.