Large turnout for West Chester Veteran’s Day Parade

This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website.
Hundreds were on hand at the annual Veterans Day Parade Sunday in West Chester to honor those who have served to protect the country. (Daily Local News)

Hundreds were on hand at the annual Veterans Day Parade Sunday in West Chester to honor those who have served to protect the country. (Daily Local News)

WEST CHESTER — In a tradition which has spanned roughly 35 years, West Chester held its annual Veterans Day Parade on Sunday.

“It was a beautiful day and the turnout was much bigger than usual,” said John O’Neal, organizer of the parade.

The several hundred people in attendance were entertained by marching bands from all three West Chester high schools — East, Henderson and Rustin.

They were also treated to a parade of model cars from the Chester County Antique Car Club and the Greater Pennsylvania Military Vehicle Historical Association.

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It wouldn’t be a Veterans Day Parade without some veterans, of course.

Representing the vets were the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 1777 from Valley Forge, the American Legion Bernhard Schlegel Post 134, the Marine Corps League Chester County Detachment, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Butler McCormick O’Connor Post 106, the Disabled American Veterans Chester County Chapter 90 and the American Legion Nathan Holmes Post 36.

Also taking part in the parade were several youngsters from the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and local leaders in West Chester Mayor Carolyn Comitta, state Sen. Andy Dinniman and U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello.

The guest speaker was Dr. John Maher, the former head of the Chester County Health Department. Maher was an Army medic during Vietnam.

The special guest for 2015 was Francis “Frankie” DiSanti, a 93-year-old World War II veteran and longtime West Chester postal carrier. He served as a sergeant in the army and fought in the Pacific Theater.

From his service in the war, DiSanti received several medals, including the Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, Sharpshooter Badge and Carbine Bar and the Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII, among others.

He declined a Purple Heart for a hand wound, saying his injury was small when compared to others who suffered more serious wounds.

Following the parade was a memorial ceremony held on the steps of the Old Courthouse.

“Having a parade and ceremony for Veterans Day allows veterans and their families an opportunity to celebrate being a veteran, which most of us are very proud of,” O’Neal said. “It also lets the veterans’ friends and neighbors show their support.”


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Categories: Community, Military

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